Education

Rep. Luján believes that ensuring a bright future for our country requires investing in our children’s education today. Classrooms should provide a positive learning environment where students are encouraged to challenge themselves and reach their full potential. Rep. Luján believes that no child, regardless of education level or background, should be overlooked.

Championing Early Education.

To help our children succeed in school, we must give them a strong start to their education. This why Rep. Luján champions the Head Start program, which serves over one million individuals annually, including more than 7,500 New Mexicans. For 50 years, Head Start has helped support hard-working families by providing young children with the support they need during critical formative years. The program ensures that children have access to comprehensive preschool programs, and provides comprehensive services to promote family engagement and improve access to health and social services. Lujan also cosponsored the Strong Start for America's Children Act to significantly expand and improve early learning for young children.

Doing Away with No Child Left Behind

Rep. Luján supported the Every Student Succeeds Act, a long-overdue bipartisan effort to replace the flawed No Child Left Behind law. It increases flexibility for states and school districts, while ensuring that our most vulnerable students are not neglected. The Every Student Succeeds Act provides resources for states to audit and streamline their standardized testing systems, eliminates unnecessary and duplicative assessments, and allows states to limit the time students spend taking annual tests. In addition, this legislation recognizes the importance of STEM education by creating a STEM Master Teaching Corps. This provides critical professional development training for teachers, enhancing their ability to prepare students for a career in STEM fields. 

“We have a responsibility to ensure that every student, regardless of their zip code, has access to a quality education. Our students deserve high expectations, adequate resources, and great teachers,” said Luján. “This bipartisan legislation is long overdue and takes important steps to meet those goals. It eliminates No Child Left Behind’s rigid system to provide more flexibility for states, while providing federal oversight that will ensure our most vulnerable students are not neglected.”

Helping Students Save for Success

Saving for college makes a huge difference in student’s lives. Students with savings are more likely to attend and finish college and they graduate with less student-loan debt. That is why Rep. Luján introduced the Save for Success Act to strength the existing American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) to help hardworking families save for college. Rather than waiting until their children have already incurred higher education expenses, this bill allows these families to claim up to $250 of the AOTC annually when they save into a 529 account or college savings account. If a family saves a little more than $20 a month and reinvests the credit in college savings, they will have an estimated $15,000 saved by age 18 and will still be eligible for $5,500 of the AOTC.

“We have a responsibility to ensure that every student, regardless of their zip code, has access to a quality education. Our students deserve high expectations, adequate resources, and great teachers,” said Luján. “This bipartisan legislation is long overdue and takes important steps to meet those goals. It eliminates No Child Left Behind’s rigid system to provide more flexibility for states, while providing federal oversight that will ensure our most vulnerable students are not neglected.”

Combating Student Loan Debt

In 2015, more than half of New Mexico’s graduates held an average student debt of over 20,000. Nationally, according to the Department of Education, borrowers in the U.S. are carrying $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, including $6.1 billion from students in New Mexico. Refinancing loans at today’s lower interest rates would save families an estimated $50 billion nationwide, which they could then reinvest in their local economy. Rep. Luján cosponsored the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which enables student loan borrowers to refinance their loans at a lower interest rate, reducing their payments and putting thousands of dollars back in their pockets. This legislation takes a commonsense step to address the growing burden of student loan debt faced by so many New Mexicans.

“We have a responsibility to ensure that every student, regardless of their zip code, has access to a quality education. Our students deserve high expectations, adequate resources, and great teachers,” said Luján. “This bipartisan legislation is long overdue and takes important steps to meet those goals. It eliminates No Child Left Behind’s rigid system to provide more flexibility for states, while providing federal oversight that will ensure our most vulnerable students are not neglected.”

Promoting STEM and Workforce Development

In order for our children and young adults to compete in the global economy they must have the training and skills necessary to compete in the STEM fields.This is why Rep. Luján introduced the STEM Support for Teachers in Education and Mentoring Act, or STEM2 Act, which identifies STEM skills needed by businesses and industry and supports curricula, teacher training, and mentoring in order to improve student learning in STEM. Rep. Lujan recognizes that High-quality teachers and a rigorous curriculum that focus on the needs of employers hiring for the jobs of tomorrow is critical.

Rep. Luján also introduced the Community College Energy Training Act to support training programs for the wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass energy sectors, as well as occupations in high performance building construction and retrofitting, recycling and waste reduction, water and energy conservation, and sustainable agriculture. This bill will provide $100 million in annual funding to issue grants to support these training programs.

Rep. Luján understands that ensuring a bright future for our country tomorrow requires investing in our children’s education today. Classrooms should provide a positive learning environment where students are encouraged to challenge themselves and reach their full potential. Rep. Luján believes no child, regardless of education level or background, should be overlooked.

“We have a responsibility to ensure that every student, regardless of their zip code, has access to a quality education. Our students deserve high expectations, adequate resources, and great teachers,” said Luján. “This bipartisan legislation is long overdue and takes important steps to meet those goals. It eliminates No Child Left Behind’s rigid system to provide more flexibility for states, while providing federal oversight that will ensure our most vulnerable students are not neglected.”

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