America’s students have suffered for decades from under-investment in education. The effects are seen most in rural areas and inner cities where children lack the resources to compete with students living in more affluent areas. Children in every American community share the global disadvantage of not having adequate access to early childhood education. Teachers, saddled with student loans and inadequate support from budget strapped school boards and local governments, struggle to stay in a profession they love. No policy changes geared towards educating children will move the needle if the financial burden facing educators across the country isn’t addressed.
- Expand on The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future passed by state legislator’s early in 2021. The landmark bill passed in Maryland will raise the state’s education budget by almost $3.2 billion over the next ten years. It increases funding for schools, teacher salaries and career opportunities, presents high school students attending college with career options and opportunities, and establishes an accountability board to ensure the program is implemented properly. We’ll bring these policy objectives to the federal level with Maryland leadership.
- Propose a standalone, free public option for early childhood education at the age of three for ALL. The World Bank cited a long-term study of early childhood education in 12 countries, showing that children who attend preschool stay in school longer and are more likely to be employed in high skilled jobs. With that, only half of American children on average begin pre-school before attending kindergarten. That’s half of America’s youth playing catch-up at the start of their educational lives almost exclusively due to socio-economic shortfalls.
- Propose reforms that strengthen schools and parent’s ability to execute Individual Education Programs (IEP’s). This is especially needed in underserved urban and rural communities. For two years, while living in North Carolina, I worked as a teacher’s aide in special education classrooms. I witnessed the systems inability to provide resources and support to teachers, administrators, and parents as they often struggled to execute the many variances of IEP’s. My plan will fix this and make it easier for parents, teachers, and administrators to get it right for the students they serve.
- Advocate for student loan debt cancellation. In addition, we’ll push to make college available to all at free or reduced cost for public two-year and four-year institutions. This will increase earning potential without creating crippling individual debt.