A Commitment to Public Education
Our education system is one of the most resilient public institutions the United States has ever created. Public schools can provide a model for what our society can achieve: free access to a necessary resource built through everyone pooling together and establishing education as a public good which is not for profit and not for sale.
Level the Playing Field Between Public Schools and Charters
Our collective investment in public schools is being undermined by the rich, who are trying to remake our education system to serve them with charter schools and other privatized models. I support the NAACP’s proposed moratorium on using public funds to open new charter schools while we rebuild our public schools, and I support a ban on all for-profit charter schools because the education of our children should not be an investment vehicle for the wealthy. We must address the inequities between charter schools and public schools, and I propose to accomplish this with mandates that the same oversight requirements should apply to all schools. I will also fight to ensure that charter school boards are at least 50% composed of teachers and parents rather than rich investors.
Invest in Public Schools
In addition to leveling the playing field between charters and public schools, we must invest more deeply in our public schools. I commit to tripling Title I funding so that struggling schools have the funding to improve and so that all students can access a quality education no matter their ZIP code. I also support funding arts, language, and music education programs because the working class deserves creative exploration and the valuable skills these fields impart. I will fight to establish a per-pupil spending floor, and I will push Congress to explore other funding models less reliant on property taxes to address the inequities in our schools based on the income of the surrounding areas. Finally, I believe public schools as an institution should reflect our values: we prioritize public education, sustainability, and innovation. I commit to fully close the gap in school infrastructure funding to renovate, modernize, and green the nation’s schools.
Follow the Leadership of Teachers and Pay Them More
The greatest investment we can make into public schools is an investment directly into the wages of educators. I will fight to establish an annual pay floor of $60,000 for every single teacher in the US. I will advocate to bring teachers and teachers’ unions into the curriculum design process so that teachers have a hand in creating the lessons they teach. I also support Bernie Sanders’s call to increase educator diversity by establishing a dedicated fund for the creation and expansion of teacher-training programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, minority-serving institutions, and tribal colleges and universities.
End the Overreliance on Standardized Testing
Public Schools as Community Centers
Schools Free of Discrimination, Segregation, and Fear
But other types of discrimination also plague our school system. I commit to expanding access to English as a Second Language instruction for children and I will also expand the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) so that at least half of special education funding is provided by the federal government. I pledge to fight for the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act which will protect LGBTQIA+ students’ rights. I am committed to the enforcement of Title IX to defend students against harassment, discrimination, and violence in all educational institutions. We must also dismantle the school-to-prison and school-to-deportation pipelines. I will fight to get police and ICE agents out of our schools to keep our children safe from harassment and surveillance regardless of race or immigration status.
Finally, I am committed to enacting comprehensive gun violence prevention laws to end the epidemic of gun violence in this country and in our schools.