Those who seek higher education should be able to do so without the heavy burden of high interest rates on student loans or limited access to Pell Grants. As a college instructor, I see how students are working longer hours with a full course load, trying to hold it all together while student loans pile up and Pell grants dry up. Yet we have Congressman Paul Ryan telling us that if we give bigger tax breaks to the people who already pay a lower percentage in taxes than practically every public university graduate, it will somehow magically solve all our problems. We’ve heard this before, and it just doesn’t work. This is why we need someone in the White House who supports students and people in Congress who are willing to support the President’s efforts to make education affordable and accessible to all.
My opponent, Bob Latta voted twice in favor of the Ryan Budget, and has called Ryan a “walking encyclopedia” on the budget. This is a slap in the face students, because Ryan wants to cut Pell grants for 1 million people over the next ten years. Moreover, the Ryan budget proposes to cut $115 billion dollars from the department of education, meaning that ordinary people like you and me will pay more for our diplomas, or not go to school at all.
Never mind that the cost of tuition has increased over 250 percent since 1980. Never mind that we are paying close to $20 thousand a year in tuition, but the maximum we can currently expect from a Pell Grant is only $5500. Never mind that the average Ohio college graduate is nearly $30 thousand in debt by the time they get a diploma. Never mind that Congressman Latta and Ryan have done little or nothing in Congress to promote job growth for college graduates. Latta and Ryan don’t care, because in their book, the middle class doesn’t matter.
Bob Latta’s Record on Education
- Voted Against Preventing Student Loan Interest Rate Increase
- Supported Ryan’s 2011 Budget That Slashed Pell Grants
- Voted Against Charter School Background Screening
- Voted Against School Credit for Service Learning Initiative
- Voted Against $4.5B in New Funds for School Breakfasts, Healthy Standards
- Supports Vouchers
- Opposes Comprehensive Sex Ed
- Voted Against Bill Capping Tuition Increases at $500/Year
But they are two people in very small world. The rest of us who live in the real world know the truth—America is the story of ordinary people like you and me who deserve better than the Ryan budget cuts. Truth be told, Ryan and Latta are out of touch, out of reach, and out to lunch with the big banks who stand to make a bigger profit off the backs of college students.
As a school board member and former Regional President of the Ohio School Boards Association, I have learned we cannot underestimate the power of a strong public education system. It starts with preschool experience that not only gives our kids needed social skills, but a leg up on fundamental cognitive development. Ask any kindergarten teacher about the difference between a child who knows their alphabet on day one and the one who doesn’t. It’s amazing. That’s why I not only support programs like Head Start, but I believe that every child in Northwest Ohio should have access to affordable pre-school programs to give them this critical piece of early education.
As I learn from my students and colleagues, and I talk to my kids’ teachers, I am always encouraged by what I see and hear. I am increasingly convinced that the answer to the issues we face as a nation is… education. When I am elected to Congress, I will fight for every child’s access to the highest quality of education and to fully fund our kids’ schools. The role of the federal government is to support our public schools, not run them.