Throughout my professional career affordability and access to quality community schools and public universities has been a top priority for me. During my time at Harvard University, I completed my Master’s in Education, where I focused on researching urban education issues and school funding strategies. This research was pivotal in shaping my legislative efforts to implement better funding policies across the board. From early childhood learning programs to our state’s higher education system, I believe that every child should have equal access to education.
When Governor Corbett proposed a budget package that stripped $1 billion from our schools, I voted NO. As the husband of an educator, I understand the most challenging issues our teachers and parents are struggling with as a direct consequence of the Corbett cuts. I supported Governor Wolf’s efforts to restore funding, so that our children have the resources they need to be prepared for their future. In addition to working towards restoring basic funding, I have championed legislation to better equip our local schools through mandatory student -to-counselor ratios. I have also introduced legislation to provide universal pre-k and kindergarten opportunities for all of Pennsylvania’s youngest residents.
Like millions of other Americans, I am still paying my college loans. At Harvard, I examined the effects that student loan debt has on our communities, and my research, along with other state House members, led to the development of the REACH scholarship. Modeled after successful programs in Georgia and other states, the REACH program would allow qualifying students in Pennsylvania to attend state colleges and universities tuition-free for four years. The REACH program would take an innovative approach to expanding affordable college access in our Commonwealth, putting Pennsylvania on the cutting edge of higher education policy. It is important that we invest in our children’s education, so that Pennsylvania can stay competitive. As your state Representative, I will continue to be that voice for Philadelphia’s schools and universities.