America is the greatest nation on earth, and the education opportunities offered to every student should reflect that greatness. I want to advance school choice and allow families to choose the best schools for their children based on their individual needs. I believe every student should have access to a high-quality education, and that parents should be the ones making those important decisions. We must also ensure that our teachers have the necessary tools to help our children reach their potential. They should be centers of learning not dens of indoctrination. A bureaucratic Washington, D.C. one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for Hawaii families, and I will advocate for education proposals that return decision-making and resource flexibility back to parents and our local decision-makers.
When it comes to higher education, I am concerned about the growing challenges of college affordability. Federally backed student loans have distorted the market. Schools bear no risk so they are free to set prices that are disconnected from the borrowers ability to pay. This has resulted in astronomical prices and student debt that many can’t repay for decades after graduation. The initial intent was to give lower income students equal opportunity to attend college, however, as with much of what the government gets involved in, it is now hurting the very people it was intended to help. The real winners in this system now are the lenders and the colleges. The banks make secured loans and get guaranteed repayment, and the colleges can charge whatever outrageous fees they want because the loans will cover whatever the price is. So again the rich and powerful get richer and more powerful on the backs of the poor and middle class.
In recent years there has been a push to forgive all student debt. Outwardly it sets up as a Republican vs Democrat issue, but is it? The truth is that the loans have not been forgiven, because it would end this gravy train for colleges and banks and they are lobbying both sides to keep it in place. It would certainly be unfair to those that paid their own way through college as they went, or by paying off their loans, but it would also mean that banks could no longer make these loans without considering a student’s ability to repay. This would severely restrict those who would qualify, and by extension, the price that college’s could ultimately charge. This is yet another example of the rich and powerful playing an inside game at the expense of the rest of us. When I get to Congress I will advocate for changes to this system that will bring sanity back to the education financing complex.
I will always support parents’ rights to advocate for our children’s education without intimidation. The government does not give us rights as parents; they are our natural rights given to us by God and as such, cannot be removed. An expectation of excellence must be restored in our schools and parents must be given options when their schools do not meet their expectations.