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Congressman Mike Thompson

Representing the 5th District of CALIFORNIA


Education is the foundation of a strong middle class and vital to our nation’s long-term success. Congress must invest in early childhood, special, technical and higher education programs to ensure everyone benefits from our 21st century economy.

Head Start
Education begins before kids ever set foot inside a classroom. Since the 1960s, Head Start has promoted elementary school readiness by providing targeted services to disadvantaged children and families. These services can have a lifelong impact on a child’s educational achievement. That’s why I support funding to increase enrollment in Head Start programs.

Congress must honor promised investments under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). When IDEA passed in 1975, the federal government committed to spending 40 percent of the average per student cost of special education. However, that level has never been achieved and current funding stands at just 14.7 percent. I’m proud to support legislation to require regular increases in IDEA spending until we finally hit the 40 percent target.

Technical Education
Technical education is essential to preparing our workforce for the high-wage, high-skill, and in-demand jobs of the future. Hundreds of thousands of positions in growing fields like the skilled trades and information technology remain unfilled every year. But with federal help, more people in America can gain the skills necessary to do these jobs and unlock better career paths with higher earning potential. As a member of the Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus, I support robust funding for career and technical education programs. I’m also working to advance legislation to incentivize employers to invest in training their workforce.

Making College Affordable
In the last decade, tuition at four-year colleges and universities has risen more than 32 percent, even adjusting for inflation. As the cost of college goes up, more and more families are priced out of higher education. Students who do attend are too often forced to choose between tuition, books, housing and food – and saddled with impossible levels of debt. As a member of the California Public Higher Education Caucus, I’m a strong supporter of debt-free college financing through the Pell Grant program. I also support legislation to allow borrowers to refinance their student loans at historically low market rates.

America succeeds when education is accessible to everyone. I will continue fighting for investments in key educational priorities that boost our middle class and keep America on the cutting edge of discovery and innovation.

More on Education

Aug 29, 2019 Press Release

Washington – Today Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) announced that he is now accepting applications for his 2019 Congressional App Challenge open to all middle and high school-aged students from California’s Fifth Congressional District.

Aug 7, 2019 Press Release

Washington – Today Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) announced he is launching a Congressional Student Leadership Council open to High School students in California’s Fifth Congressional District. Applications for this semester-long leadership program are open until Tuesday, September 10.

Jul 31, 2019 Page

Congressman Mike Thompson has launched a Congressional Student Leadership Council, an exciting, semester-long program that allows local students to work directly with Mike and his staff to develop leadership skills, get to know how government works, and engage with our community first hand. The Council is open to all high school students in California's Fifth Congressional District.

Jul 22, 2019 Press Release

Washington – Today Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) announced that his office is now accepting nominations to our nation’s military service academies for students who live in California’s Fifth Congressional District and are between the ages of 17 and 23. These schools include the United States Air Force Academy, United States Merchant Marine Academy, United States Military Academy at West Point, and the United States Naval Academy.

Jun 10, 2019 Press Release

Washington – Today Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) announced that three students from the Fifth Congressional District have been nominated and accepted offers to our nation’s military service academies. Students have been appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy Prep School, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the U.S. Naval Academy.

May 20, 2019 Press Release

Washington – Today Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) announced the start of his 2019 Summer Reading Challenge for students through eighth grade in California’s Fifth Congressional District.

Aug 4, 2017 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5) today announced a $2,371,715 High School Equivalency Program grant for Santa Rosa Junior College. The funding made available by this grant will be used to provide children of migratory and seasonal farmworkers the opportunity to complete high school equivalency and continue on to higher education.

May 9, 2017 Press Release

Napa, CA – Today, Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) announced the start of the Summer Reading Challenge. Open to students from pre-K through the 8th grade, the Challenge encourages kids in our district to read as many—or all—of the books on the Library of Congress and American Library Association’s Summer Reading List.

Jan 30, 2017 Press Release

Washington – Today, Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) urged his colleagues in the Senate to reject the President’s choice of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of the Department of Education.

Sep 1, 2016 News Articles

The word “debt” loomed large in a literal way Thursday at Sonoma State University.

During the outset of a congressional town hall at the university’s student center, East Bay Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Pleasanton, told audience members they could text message a specific number with words describing the issues most important to them. Their answers would form a “word cloud” — in which the size of a word varies on how much it is used — projected on screens at either side of the stage.