Have You Heard About Elizabeth Warren’s Plan For Public Education?

From elizabethwarren.com:

As public school teachers across the country know, our schools do not have the financial resources they need to deliver a quality public education for every child.That’s why my plan invests hundreds of billions of dollars in our public schools – paid for by a two-cent wealth tax on fortunes above $50 million – and makes a series of legislative and administrative changes to achieve five objectives: 

  • Fund schools adequately and equitably so that all students have access to a great public education.

  • Renew the fight against segregation and discrimination in our schools.

  • Provide a warm, safe, and nurturing school climate for all our kids.

  • Treat teachers and staff like the professionals they are.

  • Stop the privatization and corruption of our public education system.

 

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This is the first plan given by a front-runner in the Democratic field of presedential candidates.

And it says a lot about the continuing trend against what many call the privatization efforts of education reformers.

She goes right after Betsy DeVos:

“We can do so much better for our students, our teachers, and our communities. I’ll start – as I promised in May – by replacing DeVos with a Secretary of Education who has been a public school teacher, believes in public education, and will listen to our public school teachers, parents, and students.”

She addresses Title I funds.

“It starts by quadrupling Title I funding – an additional $450 billion over the next 10 years – to help ensure that all children get a high-quality public education.”

She addresses the Individuals With Disablaities Education Act:

“I’ll make good on the federal government’s original 40% funding promise by committing an additional $20 billion a year to IDEA grants. I will also expand IDEA funding for 3-5 year olds and for early intervention services for toddlers and infants.”

She addresses infrastructure:

“I’ll invest at least an additional $50 billion in school infrastructure across the country – targeted at the schools that need it most – on top of existing funding for school upgrades and improvements in my other plans.”

She addresses testing:

“The push toward high-stakes standardized testing has hurt both students and teachers. Schools have eliminated critical courses that are not subject to federally mandated testing, like social studies and the arts. They can exclude students who don’t perform well on tests. Teachers feel pressured to teach to the test, rather than ensuring that students have a rich learning experience. I oppose high-stakes testing, and I co-sponsored successful legislation in Congress to eliminate unnecessary and low-quality standardized tests. As president, I’ll push to prohibit the use of standardized testing as a primary or significant factor in closing a school, firing a teacher, or making any other high-stakes decisions, and encourage schools to use authentic assessments that allow students to demonstrate learning in multiple ways.”

She addresses charter schools:

“To keep our traditional public school systems strong, we must resist efforts to divert public funds out of traditional public schools. Efforts to expand the footprint of charter schools, often without even ensuring that charters are subject to the same transparency requirements and safeguards as traditional public schools, strain the resources of school districts and leave students behind, primarily students of color. Further, inadequate funding and a growing education technology industry have opened the door to the privatization and corruption of our traditional public schools. More than half of the states allow public schools to be run by for-profit companies, and corporations are leveraging their market power and schools’ desire to keep pace with rapidly changing technology to extract profits at the expense of vulnerable students. “

She addresses vouchers:

“We have a responsibility to provide great neighborhood schools for every student. We should stop the diversion of public dollars from traditional public schools through vouchers or tuition tax credits – which are vouchers by another name. We should fight back against the privatization, corporatization, and profiteering in our nation’s schools. I did that when I opposed a ballot question in Massachusetts to raise the cap on the number of charter schools, even as dark money groups spent millions in support of the measure. “

What Warren is doing is defining the variables and issues that will be at the center of the public education debate in the coming presidential election: funding, testing, charters, vouchers, segregation, and strong community schools.