Fighting For High-Quality Education

As the former superintendent of the Denver Public Schools, Michael understands the importance of a high-quality education to a child's success. Sadly, our schools too often fail at preparing the next generation for the 21st century economy.

Michael believes our country's competitiveness depends on a fundamental transformation of public education that gives schools and districts more flexibility to innovate and make decisions in the best interests of their students, while holding them to high standards for all our children. As a former leader on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), Michael helped overhaul No Child Left Behind, replacing it with a bipartisan law that returns power to states and local communities. Michael also helped secure provisions that reward innovation in schools, support rural school districts, and improve teacher training.

Michael believes no student should graduate from high school without the skills to earn a living wage. Michael is working on legislation to modernize workforce training, increase apprenticeship programs nationwide, and encourage higher education institutions, employers, and workforce intermediaries to collaborate to establish new and better apprenticeships that will lead to higher pay for graduating students.

In his ongoing efforts to modernize higher education, Michael works tirelessly to ensure every student can pursue some form of higher education without incurring crushing debt. Michael has successfully expanded access to dual enrollment, early college programs, and career and technical education to better prepare students for 21st century careers. He also successfully passed bipartisan solutions to simplify the financial aid process and expand year-round Pell Grants so students can finish college with less student loan debt and on their own schedule.