Pete Aguilar+Paul Chabot

Pete Aguilar (D) left. Paul Chabot (R) right.

By Jim Steinberg, San Bernardino Sun
Posted: 10/14/14, 6:34 PM PDT | Updated: 1 min ago

SAN BERNARDINO >> Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar and former Naval officer Paul Chabot offered different approaches to soaring education costs Tuesday inside San Bernardino’s Arrowhead Country Club.

The luncheon event pitted the two combatants in the battle for the highly coveted seat in 31st Congressional District, which stretches from Upland to Redlands.

Aguilar, mayor of Redlands, targeted student loan interest rates as a key necessary reform focus.

After graduating from college, “young people should focus on starting a family, finding a job and starting their path in a community,” Aguilar said.

“They should not be worrying about their next payment to student loans,” he said.

Chabot, a Rancho Cucamonga resident, said education reform should target the “elitist attitude” that says in order for someone in this country to be successful, “they need to go to college.”

“Our education system is broken,” Chabot said. “Many classes have nothing to do with the direction” a student has chosen for their career.

Chabot, a Republican, said there is a lot of bureaucratic and union waste in public education and more young people should need to be finding their success in trade schools and the military.

“The taxpayers are paying way too much of the burden of a system that needs streamlining,” he said at the event sponsored by TheRotary Club of San Bernardino.

Aguilar, a Democrat, said the current student loan program places too great a burden “on the backs of students.”

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