The daughter of a teacher and North Carolina’s “Education Governor,” education is at the heart of Rachel’s life and career. Before she ever ran for office, she was a college counselor helping families identify the right educational needs for their kids. Rachel knows education is the engine that helps people fulfill their potential. That’s how we build strong communities and a strong economy.
We need strong education options at every level to do that. That’s why the first bill Rachel sponsored put a teaching assistant back in every K-3 classroom in the state. Studies show that teaching assistants in early grades are a proven way to boost student engagement during those crucial early years and set them on the path to a lifetime of success.
We need an education system that prepares students for the future without saddling them with unsustainable levels of debt. The US currently has an astounding 1.61 trillion in student loan debt and, we need to build an education system that meets that reality head on. That’s why Rachel sponsored the “Student Borrowers Bill of Rights,” to eliminate predatory lending. And we need to make sure our students are getting value out of what they pay for. North Carolina is home to one of the finest public university systems in the country and, we need to continue to provide access to top-notch higher education that works for everyday North Carolinians -- that means attracting and retaining outstanding faculty and staff.
Our community colleges have become more important than ever and offer many students and their families the opportunity they need to develop professional skills beyond high school, without needing to take on the equivalent of a home mortgage in student loans. While in the State House, Rachel served as the vice-chair of the subcommittee on Community Colleges, one of the few Democrats to hold a leadership position. That’s because she is focused on solutions and doing what’s best for our families, not destructive politics. Charged with overseeing our Community Colleges, she has worked to make sure they continue to provide adaptable and affordable solutions for anyone who wants to further their education. Rachel’s bill H 744 provided a pilot program to cover costs for students enrolling in certain workforce development areas.