"Defaulting on the promise of a quality education is the biggest disservice we can do to our younger generations." –Barbara Lee
Support for public education is a long-standing American value. Over the last 20 years, however, school funding has needlessly become a political football. We must resolve to provide ladders of opportunity to make certain that all children have equal access to a quality public education that will prepare them for college or a living-wage job.
A Level Playing Field For All Kindergarteners
Bridging the achievement gap that exists between young children at the very beginning of their educational careers is a constant struggle. Head Start has a long tradition of improving outcomes for children of low-income families. Since 1965, this comprehensive child development program has worked to improve the skills of children who would otherwise not receive such attention before entering kindergarten. We have a clear responsibility to continue to fund Head Start and other programs that prioritize early education, especially for financially disadvantaged families.
Quality College Education For All
The cost of college has increased dramatically over the last two decades, with some tuitions reaching nearly $50,000 per year. In California alone, students seeking higher education in our U.C. and C.S.U. systems along with students in our community colleges, face skyrocketing tuitions to offset billions in higher education funding cuts for the coming academic year. To maintain an educated workforce and electorate, the prosperity of our country depends on having people who are educated. As a society, we need to prioritize making a quality four-year college education affordable and address problems associated with private, predatory lending to finance college education.
Commitment To Our Teachers
Teacher retention is incredibly important. Highly effective teachers should always be acknowledged and rewarded. At the same time, teachers who need improvement need support, encouragement and training to help them realize their highest potential. Our children's outcomes are conditional on the recruitment, retention and ongoing training and development of their teachers. The future, quite literally, depends on it.