This issue is personal to me. My dad taught for 55 years, mostly in California and my brother Paul taught in San Diego for 14 years. They loved teaching and gave it absolutely everything. As Chairman of the School Site Council in San Luis Obispo, I’ve had the opportunity to monitor how curriculums and standards are developed and maintained. In California, we are blessed by tens of thousands of educators just like my brother and dad.

Our education system is our collective investment in our youth, and in the future of our nation. I know that we all agree on this, and have felt frustration over past decades as we have watched schools in America fall behind those of other developed countries. We have watched the state of our education system remain in this stagnant water, while decades of intermittent strikes by professional educators, and constant debate on how to improve our system, have improved little.

I believe that we currently have a system that does not adequately value teachers and students, or adequately consider their wellbeing. If we want to improve oureducation system, we must improve how we treat and reward these most valuable public servants. Educational professionals are necessary to provide extracurricular activities, valuable summer and after-school programs, and support for students with disabilities and special needs for accomodation. Thus, quality teachers must be attracted and retained, as a teacher is so much more than just a teacher.

We have the power to take action, ensuring that all of our children receive high quality education that prepares them to be effective and principled entrepreneurs, employees, and public servants. With this in mind, I would support further legislation such as can be found in H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which provides emergency funding for core educational institutions, and aims to expand availability of technological and physical accommodations in our public schools.