A Champion for Education

A former elementary school teacher, Jon has never given up his passion for education. In fact, one of Jon’s favorite parts of his job is visiting with students of all ages.

Jon understands the challenges of public education in small, rural school districts. Nearly every week he reaches out to students across our state using video teleconferencing technology.

He’s worked to replace the No Child Left Behind law’s cookie-cutter education approach with a plan that works for Montana and rural America. He’s even fought to establish a federal Office of Rural Education.

Jon also knows that greater access to higher education improves lives and boosts the economy. That’s why he is committed to expanding higher education opportunities for Montanans. Jon has consistently supported increasing the maximum available Pell Grant. He’s helped write the 21st Century G.I. Bill to expand education benefits for our veterans. And he’s voted for lower student loan interest rates.

Jon also helped pass into law the College Cost Reduction and Access Act. The law made higher education more affordable for Montana families by:

  • Boosting Pell Grants for the more than 17,000 Montana students who rely on them
  • Cutting in half the interest rate on subsidized student loans from 6.8 percent to 3.4 percent for undergraduates
  • Providing loan forgiveness for students who spend ten years in public service, including military service
  • Opening up TEACH Grants for undergraduates who commit to teaching in high-need districts

The sweeping student loan reform that Jon helped pass cut the for-profit bank middleman out of the student loan business, putting loans directly in the hands of students and their families. This change means billions of dollars cut from the national deficit, more bang for taxpayers’ bucks, and a more affordable college education for Montana students.