Advancing Equity In Higher Education

November 1, 2019
Blog Post

I joined the Education and Labor Committee to champion sweeping legislation that bolsters access to higher education nationwide, lowers costs, and expands opportunities for all Americans. This week, we made critical progress on that mission by passing the College Affordability Act.

I have spoken to students from Danbury and the Farmington Valley who see their chance to get an education slipping further and further away, while loan companies line their pockets. I have worked with teachers in Waterbury crushed by student loans, low salaries, and a Department of Education with no commitment to supporting them. I have met families from Meriden to Salisbury who dream of supporting their children through higher education, but can not afford the skyrocketing cost of tuition.

 

Video

WATCH

Representative Hayes speaks in the Education and Labor Committee on the importance of the College Affordability Act.

 

I led the effort on this Committee to ensure the reforms essential to my constituents were included in the College Affordability Act. I am happy to report 15 of my bills were included as part of this legislation, including:

  • Pell Grant Restoration Act, which ensures Pell grant recipients who receive loan forgiveness because they were defrauded by for-profit colleges can have their Pell eligibility restored in order to obtain their higher education. 
  • BETTER TEACH Grants Act, which provide upfront grant aid to students interested in serving in high-need school districts in high demand fields, such as STEM and special education.
  • Young Farmer Success Act, which would enable farmers to enroll in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.
  • Strengthen CTE in Higher Education Actwhich would authorize the creation a five-year grant program to foster greater investments in post-secondary Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs. 
  • Teacher Debt Relief Act, which expedited debt relief for teachers, streamlining the amount of time required  from 15 years to 10.

No one should have to mortgage their future in order to get an education. We owe it to our children, to our country, and to the Fifth District of Connecticut to ensure everyone has the opportunity to succeed.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. To keep up with my work in Congress, sign up for my e-newsletter here!

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