Congresswoman Trahan grew up in a working class family in Lowell, Massachusetts and became the first in her family to attend college after receiving an athletic scholarship. She knows the importance of strengthening public K-12 education and making higher education, including community colleges, technical education, and apprenticeships, affordable and accessible to all.

K-12 Education and COVID-19 

The changes to our educational landscape caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated inequities for many students – particularly those from underserved communities – who lack access to the technology or equipment necessary to complete their studies. As remote or hybrid learning models become commonplace, it is critical that the federal government provide substantial relief to our students and educators.

Education and the Federal Response to COVID-19

Substantial investments in our students are even more critical in the COVID-19 pandemic. When the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stimulus (CARES) Act was signed into law in March 2020, $13.5 billion was allocated to the Department of Education for grants to local educational agencies that support elementary and secondary education. In addition, the package provided $50 million to expand internet-enabled education opportunities to areas with limited technological resources for remote learning

As we reentered the physical classroom through in-person and hybrid education models, additional funding was needed to ensure the safety of teachers and students. To build upon the advancements in the CARES Act, Congresswoman Trahan voted in favor of the American Rescue Plan Act which passed in March of 2021. This historic legislation provided $170 million in funding for public schools and campuses. Educators were then able to reduce class sizes to enable social distancing, upgrade HVAC systems, and take other steps to ensure safety and equity upon the return to the classroom.

Investing in Higher Education 

Originally passed in 1965, the Higher Education Act (HEA)  is the primary legislation pertaining to the administration of federal higher education programs. Its purpose is to strengthen the educational resources of our colleges and universities and provide financial assistance for students to ensure every individual has access to higher education, regardless of their background. 

As the only Massachusetts’ lawmaker serving on the Education and Labor Committee, Congresswoman Trahan helped craft the College Affordability Act (CAA), which would reauthorize HEA in order to ensure students can spend less while earning a meaningful degree.

Provisions in the College Affordability Act

For many students and families, a college education will be the biggest financial investment they will ever make. As tuition costs skyrocket, students are all too often choosing where to go without a clear sense of the return on their investment. That isn’t right.

Congresswoman Trahan is an advocate for initiatives that will hold institutions accountable for student success; her work on key provisions included within the College Affordability Act illustrates this commitment. 

Congresswoman ended commencement season at Greater Lowell Technical High School, celebrating the class of 2019 and hearing from  students about their future plans.

Financial Aid Communication and Transparency (FACT) Act

Congresswoman Trahan’s FACT Act ensures that all students receive clear, comparable financial aid offers from each institution to which they are accepted. Standardizing the way institutions present tuition and fees will empower students to make decisions that are right for them and their families without rolling the dice on their financial security. 

Clean Data in Higher Education Act

Congresswoman Trahan’s Clean Data in Higher Education Act reorganizes and declutters online data to provide students with clear, accessible information to help determine whether a particular college fits their needs. Also included in the College Affordability Act  is Congresswoman Trahan’s Net Price Calculator Act, which requires institutions to prominently display costs of tuition, room and board, and other expenses on their website in the form of a consumer tool called the Net Price Calculator. 

Strengthen CTE in Higher Education Act

Congresswoman Trahan’s Strengthen CTE in Higher Education Act authorizes $200 million in funding to foster greater cooperation and alignment between Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs and educational institutions and employers. In short, this provision ensures that institutions are training students for good-paying, quality jobs that exist across different sectors of the innovation economy. 

Congresswoman Trahan visiting with students and educators at Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School in Haverhill. 

Additional Supported Legislation

Rebuild America's Schools Act*

Employer Participation in Repayment Act*

Supporting the goal of increasing public school teacher pay and public education funding

Educators Expense Deduction Modernization Act

Never Again Education Act

College Transparency Act

IDEA Full Funding Act

 * indicates the Congresswoman is an Original Cosponsor of that legislation.