I firmly believe that education is the incubator of American innovation, prosperity, and economic equality. I have consistently advocated for programs such as Title I, Head Start, migrant education, and tutoring and mentoring for first-year college students.


Americans hold $1.6 trillion in student debt. I’m one of them.  I am a cosponsor of the College Affordability Act, a comprehensive overhaul of higher education that lowers the cost of college, improves the quality of higher education, and expands opportunity for students from all backgrounds.

I also cosponsored the Basic Assistance for Students In College (BASIC) Act, legislation to ensure that college students—particularly those receiving Pell Grants or attending a community college or minority-serving institution—are able to afford basic, day-to-day necessities.

I will continue to support year-round Pell, streamlined student loan repayment processes, and student loan forgiveness for public service. 


Understanding the significant challenges servicemembers face when they transition out of the military, I introduced legislation to help establish Veterans Resource Centers at public institutions of higher education. I want to ensure our veterans feel empowered and confident when they are trying to advance their careers through education, and these Veterans Resource Centers will be another booster for veterans.  These centers will offer veterans a place to share ideas and advice, as well as professionally and personally network to lay a powerful foundation for their civilian careers.

Additionally, I am working closely with a number of Members from House Veterans Affairs and Armed Services Committees to better service our men and women in uniform. Through accurate and actionable legislative work we can reduce the barriers to our military members from progressing in their higher education.


For more information concerning my work and views related to Education, please contact our office.


More on Education

March 31, 2020 Press Release

SALINAS, CA – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) applauded unanimous House passage of  the bipartisan Student Veteran Coronavirus Response Act of 2020, H.R. 6322. The legislation minimizes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on student veterans as schools and universities have taken proactive measures to mitigate the spread of the virus.  Congressman Panetta cosponsored the measure.

March 25, 2020 Press Release

SALINAS, CA – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) led a bipartisan group of six lawmakers in sending a letter to U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos urging the Department to develop guidance and resources for primary, secondary, and higher education institutions in creating distance learning curriculums, including best practices and guidance regarding remote learning equipment procurement.  The members of Congress ask the Department to publicly publish information regarding resources for the benefit of educators across the country.

March 18, 2020 Press Release

SALINAS, CA – Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) joined a bipartisan group of 72 lawmakers calling on U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to take steps to ensure that the financial burden of university closures and migration to remote learning do not result in financial burdens for students.

February 4, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) released the following statement in response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address:


December 19, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) introduced bipartisan legislation to restore eligibility to servicemembers seeking to transfer their educational benefits to dependents.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill Transferability Entitlement Act, H.R. 5522, ensures that all servicemembers who have completed ten years of service in the Armed Forces are eligible to transfer their benefits to dependents at any time – both while serving on active duty and as a veteran.

December 11, 2019 Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) supported passage of the conference report on the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Congressman Panetta successfully incorporated numerous provisions to the bipartisan, bicameral conference report that strengthen programs and priorities for Central Coast defense installations and entities, address military housing issues, and keep the United States in international military alliances and treaties. The measure will soon go to the President’s desk for signature into law.

December 10, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) voted for the Coastal and Great Lakes Communities Enhancement Act, H.R. 729, a package of ten bipartisan bills that aid coastal ecosystems and economies, improve ocean monitoring and research, and offer coastal managers tools to protect coastal communities most vulnerable to climate impacts.

November 15, 2019 In The News
Panetta seeks new designation for coastal universities on the frontlines of climate change
November 14, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20) introduced bipartisan legislation to establish National Centers of Excellence at coastal institutions of higher education.

November 10, 2019 In The News

SANTA CRUZ — UC Santa Cruz fulfilled a longtime ambition this week as it joined an exclusive club of powerhouse research universities.

The Santa Cruz campus was among three universities invited to join the Association of American Universities, the association announced Wednesday. Dartmouth College and the University of Utah also accepted invitations to join.