As a grandmother of eight and a former PTA president, Congresswoman Nita Lowey believes improving education is critical to our economic recovery and our children’s futures. Our economic competitiveness is directly linked to our ability to prepare students for the needs of the global economy. That is why she has led efforts to:
- Reduce class size by hiring new teachers;
- Provide professional development programs for principals and superintendents;
- Invest in school modernization so students can learn in 21st century classrooms;
- Increase students’ access to safe and educational afterschool activities when the school day is over;
- Increase access and affordability for higher education; and
- Improve access to STEM education.
Elementary and Secondary Education
Congresswoman Lowey believes all children should have the chance to succeed. She voted for the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act to replace the ineffective one-size-fits-all approach in No Child Left Behind, providing states, schools, and teachers with the flexibility to make local educational decisions, while extending valuable initiatives that expand access to preschool and afterschool activities.
Access to higher education is critical for students to meet the needs of the global and competitive workforce they will enter. That is why Congresswoman Lowey:
- Voted for the largest investment in college financial aid since the passage of the GI bills;
- Supported cutting the interest rates on student loans in half over five years, saving borrowers thousands of dollars;
- Supports allowing students with old loans to refinance to the lower rates that new borrowers receive;
- Authored the DIPLOMA Act to make college tuition, fees, room and board, and books fully tax-deductible; and
- Supports and has secured increases in the maximum Pell Grant award to help financial aid keep up with the rising cost of college.
Afterschool programs give students safe and educational activities that help development and student achievement and give parents peace of mind and relief from costly child care. Congresswoman Lowey helped create the first federal afterschool initiative and has fought to increase funding from $1 million in 1996 to more than $1 billion today.
All students deserve the chance to succeed, including the thousands of children in Westchester and Rockland Counties who participate in Head Start. Congresswoman Lowey supports the efforts of local and national Head Start programs to prepare children for school through literacy activities, as well as immunizations, vision screenings, dental care, and more. Lowey successfully fought to increase funding for Head Start in recent funding bills from her position on the House Appropriations Committee.
Congresswoman Lowey supports increasing funding for the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) to the full promised federal share of 40%.
In the United States, millions of open jobs require a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education including thousands in the Lower Hudson Valley.. Lowey is working to improve opportunities for students to access STEM education by:
- Fighting for funding for the Department of Education’s Title V STEM and Articulation program, which help Hispanic-Serving Institutions improve the academic quality of STEM programs, faculty development, and research opportunities in STEM fields; and
- Investing in education and training programs to fill the skills gap in high-tech and bio-medical fields and create a 21st century workforce.