Every child in America deserves an equal opportunity for quality education, as guaranteed by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. Democracies and economies are made stronger when education is prioritized, and each student is afforded opportunities to succeed. A thriving public school system in every state remains the most basic and fairest means to accomplish this end. I will fight every attempt to weaken our public school systems with schemes that divert public funds away from public schools.
We must ensure that every child is able to start with the strongest possible foundation for scholastic success. I will fight for the “Strong Start for America’s Children Act” that gives federal support to state and local efforts to enhance early learning opportunities for low income families. I will fight to ensure continued and expanded funding for Head Start and Early Head Start.
It is indisputable that strong science, technology, engineering and math programs (STEM) are critical for success in our world. Equally important are strong reading, writing and critical thinking skills. But the very best citizens also require an exposure to literature and the arts. During World War II, Winston Churchill was asked to cut funding for the arts. He replied, “Then what are we fighting for?” I will fight for educational funding that makes us better thinkers, better technicians and better citizens, and one of the best ways to do this is through arts education.
The goal of education cannot hinge solely on economic impact, but also on the cultivation of the human spirit through the arts. Students who participate in the arts develop a deeper appreciation of the world they inhabit. When children reach their fullest potential academically, everyone wins.
For students who want to pursue a college education, I will do everything possible to make sure tuition at our public colleges and universities is affordable. Every student, regardless of financial need, should have an opportunity for affordable education. No student should leave college saddled with crippling financial debt. I will support the “Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act” which allows for refinancing of prior student loan debt to the rates offered to new students. This bill could reduce the financial burden for almost 25 million students nationwide, with an average savings of several thousand dollars over the loan repayment period.
The future of America’s job market is increasingly focused on technology and infrastructure. Jobs that require hands-on skill will be in as much demand as those that require textbook skill. More and more young adults are considering trade skill programs as an alternative to college. The federal government should do as much as possible to promote and support trade and technical skill programs that are specific to local job markets.
I will fight against
- Cuts to public education
- Lowering federal education standards
- Cuts to the student loan forgiveness programs
- Cuts to HBCU (Historically Black College and University)-specific programs
- Cuts to teacher resources and benefits
I will fight for
- A vibrant public school system
- Expanding student loan relief programs
- Universal community college and trade school
- STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs
- Making the Arts (music, dance, theater, and visual arts) more accessible to more students
- More resources for teachers
- More resources for rural schools