Ensuring Access to Quality Education

I am a product of South Carolina public schools, and I know the life-changing power of a good teacher. The 5th district is home to 95 Title I schools – schools that are a majority low-income and are recipients of federal funds. In Congress, I will stand up for all South Carolina public schools, and will fight to keep the U.S. Department of Education funded and in existence. Our schools must give every child in every zip code the opportunity to succeed and fulfill their potential.

South Carolina is home to some of the best colleges and universities in the country. If federal loan programs or Pell Grants are gutted – like some in Washington have proposed -- the burden of student loan debt will prevent our talented students from attending college. As a student at the University of South Carolina, I worked three jobs to pay for my tuition and books. I know that preserving the GI Bill, Pell Grants, and the Federal direct loan programs is essential.

I also know that a four-year college isn't for everyone. That's why vocational training and apprenticeships are important educational programs and offer young people hands-on work experience and practical skills. Both vocational training and STEM education prepare our youth to take advantage of the economic opportunities the future holds. These kinds of educational programs need to be a viable and affordable alternative to a four-year college.