We need affordable vocational and higher education opportunities so the leaders of tomorrow aren’t forced into debt bettering themselves and their job prospects. Parents shouldn’t be forced to decide between taking out a second mortgage on their home or depleting their life savings just to pay for college or grad school tuition bills for their kids. It’s a vicious cycle that takes middle class families backward, not forward.

New Jersey has always been home to premier institutions of higher learning. However, in order to ensure that our state continues to attract students from around New Jersey and across the nation, we must move forward with our efforts to improve New Jersey’s higher education system for the next generation.

Working together with education and community leaders, I’ve will continue the fight to strengthen South Jersey’s universities and create more higher learning opportunities for our residents, a benefit to our entire state.

We must continue to improve on and address our outdated and fractured education system, to ensure we meet the demands of a dynamic workforce.

We must seize this opportunity to improve and expand the quality of our educational, research and medical facilities; and we’ll do it in a way that creates jobs, grows the economy and propels New Jersey into the forefront of higher learning.