Democrats believe all children should be able to lead happy, successful lives. That’s why we’re dedicated to ensuring the next generation has access to a quality education and the tools to drive our economy forward. Our country is strongest when our workers are trained with the knowledge and ingenuity to perform at the highest levels. Every child should have the opportunity to reach that horizon and to fulfill the American Dream.
Democrats have long valued education as the key to success, both for individuals and for our nation. In 1944, Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt enacted the G.I. Bill, a landmark piece of legislation that provided World War II veterans with opportunities for higher education. The G.I. Bill helped create the modern middle class in America. And in 1965, Lyndon B. Johnson and a Democratic Congress enacted the Elementary and Secondary Education Act with the goal of providing a quality education to every child.
In recent years Democrats have further increased access to higher education and restructured and dramatically expanded college financial aid, while making federal programs simpler, more reliable, and more efficient for students. In 2010, President Obama signed into law student loan reform that cut out the role of big banks. The Obama administration also doubled our investment in Pell Grants and made it easier for students to pay back student loans. President Obama has worked to reform the higher education system and invested the most in student aid since the G.I. Bill. Democrats are committed to protecting that progress, because affordable public education is the foundation of our middle class.
Democrats want every child – no matter their zip code – to have access to a quality public K-12 education, and for college to be affordable for every American. We know that as the global marketplace grows more competitive, we need to expand opportunities for higher education and job training. Democrats are committed to increasing the college-completion rate as well as the share of students who are prepared for budding industries with specific job-related skills.
Democrats recognize education as the most pressing economic issue in America’s future, and we cannot allow our country to fall behind in a global economy. We must prepare the next generation for success in college and the workforce.