Aguilar Leads Discussion on Education for Latinos During Hispanic Heritage Month Press Conference
Today, Rep. Pete Aguilar (CA-31) led the discussion on the importance of investing in education for Latino students during a Hispanic Heritage Month press conference held by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
“It’s a critical time for Latinos in America. To talk about where we’re headed, we need to talk about where we’ve begun. We walk in the footsteps of giants: Cesare Chavez, Justice Sotomayor, Dolores Huerta, and the list goes on. We need a generation that can keep that going. We need leaders who can—if we invest in them now—who can lead us into the future. We can’t afford to miss that chance,” said Aguilar.
He continued, “College affordability is a big piece for me personally. I know what it’s like to balance studying in school and working part time just to make ends meet. I was one of the lucky ones. I had a Pell Grant to help me along the way. But students shouldn’t have to be lucky. No student should be denied a quality education because he or she can’t afford it. We’re better than that. Every kid—whether you grow up in New York City or whether you grow up in San Bernardino, California—you deserve a chance at the American Dream.”
Aguilar also highlighted the importance of early childhood education, investments in underprivileged K-12 schools and free community college as critical pieces to improving education in the United States for Latino students. Rep. Aguilar is a steadfast supporter of increasing opportunity in the classroom—he cosponsored the All-Year ACCESS Act, which increases access to Pell Grants and he cosponsored the America’s College Promise Act of 2015, which provides two years of free community college and puts low-income students on the road to achieving a four-year college degree. Earlier this year, Rep. Aguilar held a student loan workshop for students affected by the closure of Everest College. He’s a cosponsor of the Protections and Regulations for Our Students (PRO) Act, which sets up accountability measures for for-profit colleges like Everest and strengthens whistleblower protections for students and staff.