I would not be where I am today without the opportunities I had to get a good education. Because of this, I have spent my career working to build a better public education system for children throughout Nevada. I was the Founding Director of After-School All-Stars, a program that provides our most at-risk students with after-school enrichment activities and academic support. As President of Communities in Schools of Nevada for the past six years, I have worked to close achievement gaps, adequately fund education and keep kids on the road to graduation. Under my leadership, CIS has grown to serve 68,000 students in Nevada and dramatically increased graduation rates in the schools we serve.

Education must be a top national priority. We should invest in students and teachers from pre-kindergarten through college. In Congress, I will work to increase funding for early childhood education and programs that assist students living in poverty. I will also fight to ensure that every classroom in America has a great teacher with the resources he or she needs to succeed.

We also need to do more to make college more affordable and reduce the burden of student loans. We should protect and expand programs like the Pell Grant, and others that help students afford college. We tell our students that they need higher education, so we need to make sure that the cost of doing so does not crush them, as they begin their careers. 

In addition to college affordability, we need to ensure that people can live a middle class life in this country without a 4-year degree. Congress should help fund training and apprenticeship programs, so that our workforce has the skills needed to compete in the 21st century. Due to our strong union apprenticeship programs, we are well-positioned to benefit from innovative training programs for the careers of the future. For decades, blue-collar workers helped form the backbone of the American middle class. We cannot leave them behind.

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