Mike recognizes that a good education requires not just schools. Our children cannot succeed without access to health care, adequate nutrition, safe housing and a supportive home environment.
Mike believes that state and local governments exercise primary responsibility in formulating education policy for our nation’s schools. The federal government must support communities through funding and with sensible policies that uphold justice and opportunity for every student, and take note of the unique challenges and needs communities face.
Mike was one of 41 members of the House to vote against No Child Left Behind because he did not think it sufficiently sensitive to the challenges encountered by local school districts. He feared the legislation would give states and municipalities the burden of mandates without enough money to fulfill them. As a former mayor, he always resisted federal “unfunded mandates”. He also disagreed with the legislation’s overemphasis on standardized testing as the almost sole measure by which to gauge student achievement.
When No Child Left Behind was recently reauthorized, Mike championed efforts to direct more money to our educational systems for training and program expansion as well as for provisions giving administrators the ability to consider many factors, beyond just test scores, in measuring success.
Dozens of colleges and universities call the 7th Congressional District home. These institutions are major employers and economic engines for the Commonwealth. Mike voted to simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the form used by families to apply for college financial aid. He also supports increasing the maximum Pell Grant to help make tuition a little more affordable for families.
Mike recognizes that a good education requires not just schools. Our children cannot succeed without access to health care, adequate nutrition, safe housing and a supportive home environment. He has consistently championed programs that direct resources to children and families such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Women, Infants and Children’s program (WIC).
As Mayor of Somerville, Mike invested heavily in the construction of new schools. When his tenure as Mayor ended, Somerville had two new schools and four others in the process of being revitalized. All were equipped with the infrastructure necessary to accommodate future technologies. When Mike left the Mayor’s office to enter Congress, class sizes in Somerville averaged a remarkably low 19 students, an accomplishment for any municipality, let alone a city of over 75,000. During Mike’s tenure, young children had access to free full day kindergarten, which was not commonly available in other communities at that time.