In it, but not of it. TPM DC

The Mark-Up, 07-15-2009

I applaud Chairman Miller for introducing an education reform bill that will cut giveaways to special interests, invest in our children's future, and save taxpayer's money.

Chairman Miller and I are working to end the wasteful subsidies that are given to banks and private lenders for student loans. Instead, his legislation will make college more affordable by paying for annual increases in Pell Grants that keep pace with inflation. He's also working with us to simplify financial aid forms and increase graduation rates.

This legislation will also help us reach the goal I set out in Michigan this week to graduate five million more Americans from community colleges by 2020. These institutions can act as job training centers for the 21st century, and this legislation makes the largest investment in community colleges in fifty years, challenging them to increase completion rates, strengthen ties with businesses, modernize facilities, and offer new online learning opportunities. Chairman Miller's legislation will also invest in high-quality early education that can save taxpayers several dollars for every one we spend. It includes $10 billion for early learning challenge grants that will ask states to ensure that the number of children who start school ready to learn is growing each year.

Finally, I am proud that this legislation not only pays for itself, but also saves taxpayers money and reduces the deficit. I look forward to working with the Chairman and Congress to make this bill even stronger and pass it before the end of the year.