Every child should have the opportunity to pursue a quality education regardless of the economic situation they are born into. Democrats value education and are dedicated to ensuring the next generation has access to an education to realize their potential and the American Dream.

In addition, Democrats have worked to further increase access to higher education and restructured and dramatically expanded college financial aid, while making federal programs more reliable and more efficient for students and their families. We believe the millennial generation and their families should not have on crushing educational debt loans in order to pay for college tuition, which has nearly quadrupled in the last 35 years.

According to The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS), the average borrower will graduate $26,600 in the red.  The student loan debt has reached a new milestone, crossing the $1.2 trillion mark — $1 trillion of that in federal student loan debt. Student loan debts now make up at 6% of the overall national debt.

To help families and college students, the Obama administration has doubled our investment in Pell Grants and made it easier for students to pay back student loans while investing the most in student aid since the G.I. Bill.

Additionally, as the global marketplace grows more competitive, we must bring the 21st century into every classroom in America by expanding opportunities for higher education, job training and access to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) classes.

There is a vast realm of knowledge waiting for our children to tap into and Democrats recognize we must prepare our children to fully participate and compete in a global economy.