As the father of four young children, working to ensure a quality education for all students in our community is a top priority of mine. Education is the building block for everything that we hope to achieve as a nation--from curing cancer to reducing homelessness. I firmly believe that every child, regardless of their socio-economic background, should have access to a high-quality education that gives them the tools they need to succeed.

In order to achieve this goal, we need to take a local approach that relies on the expertise of parents and teachers instead of unelected Washington, D.C. bureaucrats. In a rapidly-changing economy that continues to be driven by the technology sector, it is critical that each state is empowered to be a laboratory of innovation and that we promote a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum for students of all ages.

Improving education is a critical component for tackling our nation’s serious poverty epidemic. Despite the fact that the federal government spends more than half a trillion dollars on anti-poverty programs every year, today there are nearly 50 million Americans living in poverty. Solving this problem requires meaningful action and change -- two things that Washington does not often do well. But the first step in the process is for Congress to recognize that throwing more money into the same failed, one-size-fits-all programs will not lead to any better results. I’m committed to working with community-level programs and local educators to ensure our schools and families have the flexibility they need to provide a high-quality education to all students.

Our country has had enough of politicians who put special interests ahead of the families they represent. It’s time to put families first, empower local educators and come up with some real, innovative solutions to improve our nation’s schools.

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