The summer has come and gone, the back-to-school sales are over and the first week of school is over for many.
In the Connecticut State University System, a professor I'm acquainted with tells me that enrollment was way down in summer classes with several canceled due to low turnout.
A young man who recently graduated with a bachelors degree was supporting his young family by working two jobs while in school. He still was forced to take out unbelievably high dollar student loans to cover his in-state university tuition fees. His family is now in extreme debt.
Total student debt in the country is $1 trillion dollars. That is $1,000,000,000.
The Connecticut State University System was originally created to make higher education more available to the citizens of the state. Affordability and accessibility to a quality education made a big difference in the lives of citizens for generations and has helped keep our state and country competitive.
As a country, we supported education in the mid-20th century. At state-supported schools across the country, tuition payments started at $3/credit hour at community colleges; statue university in-state tuition was more reasonable; and, student loans were not privatized.
This helped to raise whole generations into the middle class, making the American Dream a reality.
Unfortunately, this opportunity is disappearing. As a result of repeated cutbacks in the state contributions to higher education, tuition at our state universities has risen significantly.
Many students -- and their parents -- have been forced to take on huge amounts of debt to finance their education. Many high school grads can't afford the state schools at all.
The American Dream is just a dream for these students. The opportunities their parents had aren't there any more. That is not progress. And it is not acceptable.
When representing you in the State House of Representatives, I promise to work at making the American Dream a reality for Connecticut kids. I will work at increasing funding for state universities and reducing the tuition costs. I will make sure that the doors of opportunity remain open for all generations to come.
I am asking for your vote because I believe in -- and will fight for -- a fair chance for everyone to pursue the American Dream.