Public education is a great equalizer and the backbone of our democracy. It is the cornerstone of the American dream that all of us, especially the working class and immigrant families, fight so hard to secure for their children. Furthermore, our schools should not be a warzone. Teachers and students should not have to risk their lives. Our schools should be a safe place for learning and growth, where every child can thrive, regardless of class, ability, or geographic location.
From standardized testing to the cost of college, high quality education is being treated as a privilege, not a right.
Additionally, the student debt crisis is not only impacting the quality of life for millennials and younger generations, but it harms our economy by preventing young adults from being able to financially mature by buying homes and investing in businesses and their communities. We must relentlessly defend and support our public education system and address the student debt crisis.
In Congress, I will:
- Fight to triple funding for Title I to ensure every child has a well-funded and high-quality public education, regardless of income
- Fight to fulfill Congress’s historic obligation to finally fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as well as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)
- Fight for a major investment in community schools and summer and afterschool programs for every child
- Fight to modernize and renovate crumbling school infrastructure
- Fight to end high-stakes standardized testing and the “teaching to the test” culture that undermines learning and punishes educators and students
- Fight for universal, free Pre-K and decent pay for early childhood educators
- Fight for universal, free school meals so that no child is ever lunch-shamed due to the lack of ability to pay
- Fight to pass common sense gun legislation, because unfiltered access to weapons of war is a dangerous threat to our public education
- Call for investing in counselors, social workers, psychologists, librarians, and mental health professionals in every school to address the diverse and urgent needs of our children
- Create and fully fund a federal version of the landmark Teachers Choice program championed by the UFT and passed by the NYC Council to ensure that educators do not have to bear the cost of classroom supplies
- Fight for tuition-free community colleges and vocational/trade schools, apprenticeships for working families, and doubling the maximum Pell Grant award so that students can cover living and housing expenses
- Call for the cancellation of $50,000 of student loan debt
- Call for ending the practice of charging interest on federally-subsidized student loans
- Support other reforms to make higher education more affordable, including extending federal loan programs