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As the son and the husband of a public school teacher, I am especially thankful for all of the ways teachers inspire learning and shape our nation’s students. Their dedication does not go unrecognized; the positive influence and selflessness that our educators possess is invaluable.

Strengthening America’s education system is important in fostering innovation and promoting our economic security. We must prepare our students for the demands of our current society and provide unemployed Americans with an outlet to reintegrate into the workforce. That means prioritizing workforce development and continuing to promote Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs; partnering with schools and local businesses to address the skilled worker shortage; and increasing access to dual enrollment CTE training courses so students can work toward credentials while still in high school.

We must also address student loan debt and we must work to make college more affordable. I’m working on providing more options for saving and more opportunities for developing skill sets for today's workforce. A bill of mine would give individuals the freedom to use their “529” savings accounts to cover the costs of certain workforce training, credentialing programs, and costs associated with certification exams and maintaining certification credentials. Another of my bills would expand access to Career and Technical Education by opening up federal Pell Grants for short term vocational or technical training and apprenticeships. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act allows families to use 529 plans to save for elementary, secondary, and higher education—whether it’s college or a vocational school.

I am committed to ensuring our students have access to quality education and opportunities to succeed. We have to prepare our students for success.