Public education is the bedrock foundation of American society. Our dynamic economy requires strong, well-funded public school systems staffed by talented faculty. While I support the rights of Americans to educate their children in the kind of school they choose, I believe the federal government should only be in the business of funding secular schools that serve all children, no matter their background.
- Pre-kindergarten programs should be universal. Studies show pre-k boosts student outcomes. It also helps families by mitigating the growing expense of child care.
- High schools should offer robust dual-credit trade programs in partnership with local community colleges so that our high school graduates have a head start at career training with less debt.
- Community colleges, the backbone of thriving communities of all sizes, should have greater public funding.
- Federal programs aimed at student debt management, including income-based repayment plans and public service loan forgiveness programs, should be preserved and enhanced.
- Vouchers have no place in public education. Siphoning money from public schools to private schools undermines the entire system. It is not the place of the government to support any particular religious teaching with public funds. Additionally, religious or not, private schools lack critical accountability and oversight.
- Education is not a business – it ought not be treated like one. Students are people, not test scores. Public schools provide enormous social, emotional, and community benefits well beyond achievement numbers on paper. Support should be aimed at the whole child, not just those skills that can be measured on a standardized test.
- Laws and programs that help vulnerable populations, from IDEA and special education to Title IX and gender equality, must be protected and enforced.