Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) put the emphasis on education in remarks at a forum on women's workplace issues in Lowell, Massachusetts today. "We want young women to have as much opportunity as possible; we want American families to have as much prosperity as possible, and education is the key," Pelosi said.
Rep. Pelosi, who serves on the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations subcommittee, is one of the strongest advocates for education in the Congress. She was one of five Members of Congress and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton who were invited to speak at the forum, Setting the 21st Century Agenda for Women, which was sponsored by Rep. Marty Meehan (D-MA).
"When people ask me what are the three most important issues facing the Congress of the United States, my answer is always the same: Our children, our children, our children. Our children's education is the key to their personal success, but also to the success of our country's competitiveness internationally," Pelosi said to a packed Durgin Hall on the Lowell campus of the University of Massachusetts.
"According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 1995, women with a bachelor's degree earned $12,000 more per year than women with a high school diploma. In the Congress this week we have just considered legislation which would provide opportunities for students pursuing higher education through increased financial aid opportunity and lower interest rates on student loans.
"Unfortunately, this week we also considered school voucher legislation the Republican majority is promoting that would abandon our public schools. I strongly support the President's commitment to make public schools more accountable, make higher education affordable, and make certain that every teacher is prepared to teach and every student is ready to learn," Pelosi said.
In addition to Rep. Pelosi, the forum featured remarks from the First Lady and Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Karen Thurman (D-FL), Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC).
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