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Democracy Awards

Congressman Mark DeSaulnier

Representing the 11th District of California


As the only Bay Area member on the Committee on Education and the Workforce, Congressman DeSaulnier is honored to represent the needs of students in California and nationwide. Ensuring equal access to educational opportunities from early childhood education to advanced learning sows the seeds for a well-rounded and productive workforce and is essential to a growing economy.

On his first day in Congress, Mark launched an Education Listening Tour to hear firsthand from students, parents, educators, and school administrators and take what he learned from those conversations back to Congress. Congressman DeSaulnier has visited all of Contra Costa County’s school districts  and higher education institutions. He is integrating feedback from these meetings into his work on the committee and in Congress. For example, Congressman DeSaulnier fought hard to enact needed reforms to the “No Child Left Behind” providing much-needed flexibility to local schools to best serve California students and strengthen programs that help our schools, teachers, students, parents, and communities.


Working for You

Early Childhood Education

Congressman DeSaulnier tapped into his past experience as a local Head Start Commissioner to successfully enact a provision reforming Head Start – a federal program that provides comprehensive early childhood education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families – to allow it to operate more efficiently and create better agreements with local schools.

We need to do more to expand and improve early learning opportunities. Mark is a sponsor of the Strong Start for America’s Children Act (H.R. 2411), which does just that through federal-state partnerships.

Congressman DeSaulnier is a strong believer in addressing the “whole child” in the classroom. He is a supporter of the Caring Start Act (H.R. 2217), which provides training and technical assistance to Head Start providers focused on trauma-informed approaches and early mental health. Supports new, evidence-based best practices to be widely and freely distributed throughout the early education and care fields.


One of the Education and Workforce Committee’s biggest successes in the 114th Congress was passing the Every Student Succeeds Act (S. 1177), which revitalized “No Child Left Behind” to make much-needed improvements. Congressman DeSaulnier successfully included four provisions in the bill to promote family engagement in education, support afterschool programs, improve Head Start programs, and protect student athletes from concussions.

Mark continued his career-long advocacy for support services for students by passing two provisions into law that would expand student access to before-, after-, and summer-school programs to help students from low-income families overcome the inequities they face in the school system. One of these programs is modeled after a bipartisan bill he introduced with Congressman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA), the Family Engagement in Education Act (H.R. 1194), that would create community centers for families, students, and community members to work together to help students succeed.

Continuing in his bipartisan efforts, Congressman DeSaulnier worked with Congressman Lou Barletta (R-PA) to introduce the School Food Modernization Act (H.R. 3316), which provides schools with the resources they need to give our students nutritious meals.

In order to provide the best services possible to students with disabilities, Congressman DeSaulnier joined with Congressman Jared Huffman (D-CA) to introduce the IDEA High Cost Pool Funding Act (H.R. 4028), which builds on the historic civil rights law, known as IDEA, by authorizing additional federal funding to help keep the law’s promise that every child with disabilities would have the opportunity to reach his or her full potential.

Higher Education

Congressman DeSaulnier successfully led congressional efforts to save the Perkins Federal Loan Program, which provides low-interest loans to help needy students finance the costs of postsecondary education.

Congressman DeSaulnier introduced the Student Borrower Fairness Act (H.R. 3675) to help address the ever-present problem of student loan debt. Student loan debt nationwide now totals more than $1.3 trillion and interest rates on those loans vary tremendously. The bill sets student loan interest rates for new and existing borrowers of federal loans so they could never be higher than the interest rates available to big banks that borrow money from the Federal Reserve. This plan would ensure that we prioritize our nation’s students over the institutions that had a hand in the last economic crash.

Many low-income students contemplating entering higher education face significant hurdles to returning to the classroom. Among the obstacles is access to childcare. For that reason, Mark support the Child Care Access Means Parents in Schools Reauthorization Act (H.R. 4681), which increases access to on-campus child care for low-income student parents.

Schools Districts in California's 11th Congressional District 

K-12 Schools

Acalanes Union High

1212 Pleasant Hill Rd.
Lafayette, CA 94549

Antioch Unified

510 G Street
Antioch, CA 94509


P.O. Box 187
Pinehurst Road
Canyon, CA 94516


3477 School Street
Lafayette, CA 94549

Martinez Unified

921 Susana Street
Martinez, CA 94553


1540 School Street
Moraga, CA 94556

Mt. Diablo Unified

1936 Carlotta Drive
Concord, CA 94519

Orinda Union

8 Alatarinda Road
Orinda, CA 94563

Pittsburg Unified

2000 Railroad Ave.
Pittsburg, CA 94565

San Ramon Valley Unified

699 Old Orchard Drive
Danville, CA 94526

Walnut Creek

960 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek, CA 94597

West Contra Costa Unified

1108 Bissell Ave.
Richmond, CA 94801


Colleges and Universities

Contra Costa College

2600 Mission Bell Dr.
San Pablo, CA 94806

Diablo Valley College

321 Golf Club Road
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

Los Medanos College

2700 E. Leland Road
Pittsburg, CA 94565

California State University, East Bay


4700 Ynacio Valley Road
Concord, CA 94521

Saint Mary's College of California


1928 Saint Mary's Road
Moraga, CA 94575