Studies have consistently shown early childhood programs such as Head Start help the neediest children enter school better prepared and ready to learn.  During the latest reauthorization of Head Start in 2007, Congress enhanced this vital program by improving teacher quality, expanding access, and increasing accountability. Unfortunately, under sequestration, Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 900 children in Wisconsin, reducing access to critical early education. Sequestration was not the right way to manage our debt. You can be sure I will work to protect access to early education.

Ron visits with students at Prairie View Elementary in Holmen.




While the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act successfully refocused federal education policy on raising academic achievement, it is clear that major changes are needed to the 2001 law.  In particular, schools need more flexibility in how they meet accountability standards, instead of relying solely on high-stakes standardized testing.  Further, we need to fully fund NCLB and other important education programs.  NCLB has been consistently underfunded, forcing our nation’s public schools to cut critical programs.

Since kids perform better academically when they are active during the school day, I will continue to advocate for an increased focus on physical education in our schools.  For more information on my work to fight childhood obesity and my FIT Kids Act specifically, click here.


Higher Education

Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District is home to fourteen colleges and universities and more than 71,000 undergraduate students. As the cost of higher education continues to increase, many hardworking families are finding it difficult to send their kids to college.  In order to compete in today’s global economy; we must ensure that college remains affordable and accessible for all families.  That is why I have supported legislation that increases Pell Grant scholarships, reduces interest rates on federal student loans, and provides assistance for students who commit to teaching in high-need schools.


Student Loans

Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District is home to fourteen colleges and universities and more than 71,000 undergraduate students.  On average, Wisconsin students hold more than $28,000 in student loans when they graduate but some students have well over $100,000 in debt.

Student loan debt has surpassed $1 trillion, higher than credit card debt and only second to homeowner mortgage debt. More than 40 million Americans are struggling with their student loans. With more than $1 trillion owed, student loan debt is impacting the housing market and automobile sales, preventing economic growth in our communities.  In Wisconsin alone, student loan debt reduces new vehicle spending by more than $200 million annually according to a study by One Wisconsin Now.

More than ever, we have an immediate need to reform student loan repayment programs so that students aren’t punished for seeking higher education. That's why I've crafted a five-point Student Loan Debt Action Plan, consisting of five simple and workable options to ease the burden on current and future student loan borrowers and their families.

To read the plan, click here.