The one thing that reliably enables people to rise out of poverty is education. At all levels education prepares youth, from the time that they first learn to speak to the time they first enter the workforce, for all the challenges they will face in the 21st century. I will fight for legislation that guarantees tuition free public college, which includes universities, community colleges and trade schools. Most sources put the annual cost of the plan at $75 billion, which could have easily been covered by the nearly $80 billion military budget increase for the 2018 fiscal year.
We cannot continue to allow working and middle class families to have their children go deep into debt, sometimes to the tune of over $200,000. When a person is loaded down with that much debt, they can’t really get on with their lives and do things like buy a home, start a small business or start saving for retirement. I will fight for total student loan debt forgiveness and will only settle for relief in the 80% range, as well as total forgiveness for people that have already been loyally paying down their debt for at least ten years…no strings attached.
I will also fight for universal pre-K, increased federal funding for after school programs and for working/middle class parents to receive significant aid towards childcare, because in pursuit of a good education for their children, working parents should not be eaten alive by childcare costs.
We also cannot forget to better fund K-12 public education and not divert already low funding towards private charter schools. I especially will do everything in my power to prevent public schools from transitioning into charter schools.