Quality education accessible to every child is the cornerstone of American success, past and future. However, we are trending in the wrong direction. Once considered as having the best higher education institutions in the world, the United States now ranks 27 for education, compared to other countries, and Texas’ schools consistently rank in the bottom third, compared to all U.S. states.
The global nature of our economy and the acceleration of automation and Artificial Intelligence against the backdrop of an unstable environment make our kids’ ability to live happy, productive, self-sufficient lives even more challenging.
We must make significant changes in our public educational system to ensure our children are empowered to thrive in a very different economic reality than the one we entered.
As a Senator, I would fight for the following:
- Go beyond bare-minimum funding, and increase spending on education.
- Ensure the equitable distribution of funding, so that each child has access to the same quality and quantity of resources.
- Mandatory and free PK3 and PK programs similar to the model pioneered by Oklahoma.
- Create grants designed to spur innovation in public education, with measurable outcomes.
- Promote the policy that all schools receiving public funding must be part of the state school system and held to same standards and accountability.
Teaching for the 22nd Century Economy.
- We should focus on teaching our kids skills that are going to better prepare them for the changing economy, including STEM learning, creative problem-solving and
multilingualism at every grade.
- Commission a study on the efficacy of Every Student Succeeds Act to ascertain its benefits.
Decrease Childhood Poverty.
- The most significant prognosticator of academic success is poverty. More than 1 in 5 children in the United States live in poverty. Families with school-age children would receive additional access to resources and programs with the singular intent of lifting their families out of poverty.
College & Trade School Accessibility.
- Higher education must be available to everyone that wants to pursue a higher degree or specialized training. The costs of college and trade schools must come down for families, and the availability of no-interest student loans should be expanded.
- Further, I would promote a program whereby students could eliminate a certain amount of their student debt by participating in volunteer programs.
https://alumni.northeastern.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/How-Poverty-Affects-Classroom-Engagement-Week-2.pdf, https://education.seattlepi.com/statistics-poverty-affects-children-schools-3636.html, https://moneywise.com/a/ways-poverty-affects-education,