Building Stronger K-12 and Higher Education Systems

 

K-12 Education

Any mom will tell you that there are few greater priorities than ensuring a great education for their kids. However, I’m concerned that at the federal level, Washington has failed to provide the initiative needed to ensure that every student has this opportunity.

I’m committed to standing up to Republicans who try to strip money away from public education and divert it towards religious and private schools. We must also be deliberate about breaking down inequities of opportunity and school district funding. Every student –– regardless of their race, zip code, or abilities –– deserves a quality education, and for too long we’ve prioritized investments for more affluent areas at the expense of the communities that need the most help. We need to reverse this trend and also get serious about desegregating school systems across the country.  

Additionally, it’s time to finally give teachers in America the pay raise they deserve for their vital work. Not only is this the right thing to do, but it’s also imperative for encouraging bright young adults to pursue a career in education and retaining that base of talent. 

This pandemic has also underscored stark racial and economic inequalities in terms of access to education and technology. The federal government must make robust investments in increasing broadband and online tools to ensure that every child is equipped with what they need to thrive. 

Higher Education

The price of college is completely out of control, increasing at about 8 times the rate of wage increases. Student debt, too, is a massive problem. Yet Washington has been unable to meet these challenges or take any meaningful action, jeopardizing long-term opportunities for so many young people across this country. 

We should make college far more affordable than it is today, and I believe that lack of resources should never limit someone from attaining a higher education. We also need to ensure that young adults have a menu of options to pursue coming out of 12th grade to equip them to be competitive in the workplace. We should start by investing in and expanding access to community college, technical training programs, and labor apprenticeships. 

I’m also determined to reverse Betsy Devos’ disastrous agenda as Secretary of Education –– a systematic effort to undermine vital protections for LGBTQ+ students, undocumented students, students with disabilities, and student loan recipients. 

As for student debt, we should start by cancelling debt for low wage earners and enrolling other students into a manageable loan repayment program supported by increasing taxes on the wealthiest among us. I also believe that creating and rapidly expanding national service programs can be a vehicle for alleviating these debt payments. Ultimately, we don’t want young graduates to struggle under a crushing burden of debt and be unable to make other important investments.