Education is an investment in the future of our young people and our nation. By providing the necessary resources, such as student aid or school construction funds, our students will be afforded the right education to succeed and become well-rounded individuals. I am committed to ensuring schools, teachers, students, and education is invested in today for the future of America.
As the most degreed Member of Congress, I have has continued my strong support for the education community. I have worked to ensure educational funds for schools, protecting low-income and at-risk students and ensuring college affordability to create a thriving, high-skilled, 21st-century workforce ready for the rigors of a competitive global market. Education is the foundation on which our economy and democracy rest. In order to fuel economic growth and lower unemployment, we need to support our children’s future, while generating a thriving workforce that is globally competitive.
With more than 12 million students borrowing money a year to pursue a higher degree and over 37 million student borrowers with outstanding debt, the issue of college affordability is extremely pressing. In July 2013, I helped pass H.R. 1911, legislation that lowered the student loan interest rates. The provisions of this legislation are a reversal of an interest rate hike that took place due to Congressional inaction, saved undergraduate students $25 billion over five years in student loan payments, and saves an average undergraduate student $3,300 in interest payments over the course of their college career. This bill also allows college students to lock into current interest rates. Education is the great equalizer for society and it's important that students feel the security of lower interest rates and less expensive monthly payments on loans.
In our district, TX-28, I have consistently been an advocate for increased investment in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), fields in which women and minorities have been historically underrepresented. In March 2014, I hosted the third annual STEM Alliance event in coordination with Texas A&M International University. Over 250 local and area middle school students attended the event, where they learned how to pursue careers in STEM fields.