Higher Education for All

Every American deserves the opportunity to pursue as much knowledge as they desire without having to worry about cost as a barrier for entry. Given that college degrees and professional certifications are becoming a necessity to gain an entry-level job, we cannot allow the socioeconomic status one was born with to determine whether or not they are able to earn a decent living. Whether it is a trade school, an apprenticeship, a four-year college, community college, or any other form of professional training, every American deserves the chance to pursue their education and to make a decent living. A majority of voters support making college tuition free for all students, and even larger majorities support enacting tuition-free college for families with incomes under $120,000 a year and free community college for all. Current studies also support the idea that free college education has beneficial effects on high school academic outcomes on providing students a future to work toward.

Cancel Student Debt

Despite President Biden’s relentless efforts to cancel as much student loan debt as possible, it continues to burden Americans young and old alike. Education fuels better, high-paying job opportunities and creates a path to a brighter future for everyone. No one should live under the exceedingly unbearable weight of loans taken out to seek education. This extreme level of debt is forcing young adults to delay or reconsider starting a family and, in many cases, is making it nearly impossible for them to own a home. We must continue to find new avenues to cancel student loans and create a better economic future for Americans.

Early Childhood Education & Universal Child Care

To ensure Americans are the best-educated population in the world, we need to start educating students earlier. In addition to the benefits of a well-educated population, such as expansive prosperity for all, expanding early childhood education and providing universal child care alleviates some of the larger costs associated with having children. By lowering this financial burden, more young adults who want to have children can do so without having to worry about whether or not they can afford it. In a poll conducted by Generation Lab, 79% of college students said affordable childcare would make them more likely to have children or adopt.

A Holistic and Honest Curriculum

A well-educated population does not mean being just educated in math, English, and science, but also being educated in civics and history. Students should graduate high school and be ready to become active and informed citizens. This means teaching them practical skills like applying for a job, learning how to pay bills, budgeting, and so much more. They cannot be fully active citizens if they are not being educated on how our government really works and how public policy works. They cannot become fully informed if history is being taught differently in different parts of the country. This isn’t indoctrination. This is about being honest and reckoning with the true history of the United States so students can have the necessary information and skills to push our country toward our ideals.

Fair Funding for Public Schools

It is a disgrace that in the wealthiest country in the world, educational outcomes are largely determined by zip code. We need to put to an end the practice of using regressive taxation like property taxes to fund public schools. The federal government and state governments need to make education a priority and ensure that every child in America has access to a public school that is more than adequately funded. We must elect leaders who will fight to create more equitable school funding formulas and will assist in the creation of state and federal policies to lift up school districts where local funding either can not or will not provide for the needs of all of their students.

Inclusive Special Education

Our education system must recognize that all students have different needs without completely segregating disabled students from the traditional classroom environment. Our education system can still provide all students with the resources they need without isolating them. While every situation is different, we should not have disabled students only interacting and working alongside other disabled students, and we should not have non-disabled students interacting and working alongside only non-disabled students. This is not only segregation but dubbs these kids as deviant, and it is the first step to them being criminalized. By being more inclusive to those who require special education, we can expand opportunities for all students and better prepare them for the real world.

End Standardized Testing

There is something fundamentally wrong with the idea that an hours-long test on a select number of subjects is the best way to evaluate a student’s intelligence. So many students are not good test takers, excel in completely different subject areas, are different types of learners, and to initiate one format to assess academic aptitude does not make any sense. While there are also preparation options for these tests, many have a significant price tag attached to them, which puts students from low-income households at a massive disadvantage. We must set a standard of evaluating each student holistically to allow them to pursue the best higher education and/or career options for them.

Universal School Meals

It’s a simple question: Should any student have to go to school hungry? When students are hungry, they can’t focus on their schoolwork because they’re thinking about their empty stomachs. Public schools need more money, and that money should be used to make sure every student gets three healthy meals each day. We need to get rid of “school lunch debt” and make sure every student has the chance to succeed in and out of the classroom. Research shows that when students have enough to eat, they do better in school. So, giving schools enough money for food programs helps students succeed in the future. These programs should be available to all K-12 students, no matter how much money their school district has, because every student deserves to have enough to eat at school.

Comprehensive Health & Sex Education

Health, and specifically sex, can undoubtedly be an uncomfortable subject to discuss with young people, but we are doing them a massive disservice by not being straightforward about it. Our education system needs to be honest in providing the information and resources necessary to make sure young people are safe, responsible, and respectful in their sex life. Abstinence-only education is not a responsible or reliable form of education. Students need to be educated on concepts like consent and contraception, then they can make educated decisions to protect themselves and adhere to their beliefs. Additionally, we need to do a better job educating students on nutrition and their personal health. This education should not pressure students to feel like they need to conform to certain health or beauty standards, but instead, inform them on strategies to better take care of their mind and body so they can be the best they can be.

If you’re interested in reading more, you can download the full Voters of Tomorrow Policy Platform.

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