INVESTING IN THE FUTURE OF OUR CHILDREN AND PUBLIC EDUCATION
90% of children in America attend a public school. We need a strong public education system that gives every student the opportunities they deserve.
Unfortunately, many of our schools struggle to get by financially under the current financial plans. Now, Republicans in Congress, President Trump, and Betsy DeVos only want to slash education funding further. President Trump’s dangerously unqualified Education Secretary Betsy DeVos even supports eliminating the Department of Education. Instead of cutting education, we should be investing in education in order to transform and modernize our educational system for the 21st century economy.
Gil and Jacki know how important our educational system is to the development of our students and future leaders. Education is an issue they are very passionate about, so passionate, that Gil even returned to school to earn a Master’s Degree in Urban Education Policy from Brown University. Gil and Jacki have seen first hand how schools in underserved communities are continually challenged to provide their students with top quality education as they continue to be underfunded. Gil and Jacki have tried to fill the gaps in some of these communities by supporting a variety of programs that support student learning and development. Their goal has always been to provide opportunity where opportunity often doesn’t exist, and help kids achieve their full potential.
Gil understands that when you provide students with the tools they need to succeed, anything is possible. He will work to ensure that all students have the educational opportunities they deserve no matter where they are from or what their background is.
Gil will fight to increase per pupil spending in our K-12 education system, fight to ensure that all students have access to affordable higher education, and fight to revamp our student loan system to bring down costs. Gil will fight for our kids in Congress.
INVEST IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
The evidence is clear: investing in early education increases the likelihood that children, will become more successful students and more productive adults. We should be investing more in these programs, not cutting them to provide tax cuts for billionaires. We also need to invest in summer learning programs to help students from underserved communities keep on track with their peers and prevent them from falling behind when school starts in the Fall. Gil will fight for increased investment in programs that support the cognitive development of students throughout the education process.
FULLY FUND TITLE I AND IDEA
Ed Royce and politicians in Washington have cut federal funding for education over 25% since 2011. That not only is wrong, it is shortsighted.
We need to invest in education, an investment in education is an investment in the future of America. We must ensure all children have an equal opportunity to a great education. Washington dysfunction leaves vital programs underfunded. Title 1, which serves children of low-income families, has a $37 billion shortfall, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has a shortfall of $18 billion. It is unfair that the federal government continues to cut programs like IDEA, but they mandate states continue to follow the federal regulations This has left our school districts to sacrifice and cut funding to other programs as they try to meet their budgets. Gil will fight for our school districts here at home, making sure they are fully funded, and able to provide all of our children the quality education they deserve.
GIVE EVERY CHILD THE OPPORTUNITY TO FLOURISH IN STEAM
America’s economic future depends on successfully training our students in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM). We need to prepare our kids for the job of tomorrow. We need to transform our educational system for the future to fit the 21st century.
Over the last decade STEAM jobs have grown at a rate that is nearly twice as fast as non STEAM jobs. By not properly preparing our kids for these jobs we’ve let them down. In order to reverse that trend, we need to fully fund STEAM programs to make sure we train our children successfully and maintain America’s role as a world leader in innovation.
Investing in STEAM education is particularly important for the 39th District given that we have long served as the center for aerospace manufacturing and development in the United States, and Gil will work to make sure we maintain our leading role as we transition into the new economy.
ATTRACT AND RETAIN GREAT TEACHERS
There is no substitute for a great teacher. We want our kids to have careers, not just jobs. We must support the people who are on the front lines in preparing the next generation of innovators.We need to give our teachers more input and more control over the teaching process. We need to better equip teachers with the right tools for a 21st century classroom and we need to provide them with continuing education and training so that they can better prepare our kids.
Teachers play a critical role in the development of our children and the future of America, but, too many teachers are underpaid and overworked. We need to provide them with better job security, because too many teachers go from year to year wondering if they’ll have a job.
We must improve working conditions so that we are able to attract and retain the highest quality teachers.
PROVIDE AFFORDABLE HIGHER EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES TO EVERYONE
We know that 99% of job growth since the financial crisis has gone to workers with at least some college education. 72% have gone to workers with at least a Bachelor’s degree. These numbers show the importance of providing higher education opportunities to everyone. This is why more than ever, higher education is so important to every student.
We need to make college tuition free for motivated students. We need to create more access to higher education for everyone.
A great education should not come with great financial liability. Students today are saddled with debt and high interest rates from loans that hardly cover the cost of tuition. We need to re-work student loan programs so that they are more beneficial to students, and not the banks.
Gil will fight predatory lenders, and for college tuition to be tax deductible, so that students can further their education without drowning in debt.
We need to increase the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit. These tax credits should reflect the actual cost of a college education.
FUND THE EVERY STUDENT SUCCEEDS ACT
ESSA was a bipartisan bill signed by President Obama that gives control back to the states and local school districts over educational standards. This bill was enacted to correct the flaws in No Child Left Behind and increase the support to both teachers and students. President Trump and Betsy DeVos are refusing to fund this law, which is causing many of our students to fall further behind.
One component of this bill provided college and career counseling, which we know is greatly needed, but President Trump and Secretary DeVos refuse to fund it. Gil will work to ensure we provide all funding necessary for our students, schools, and teachers to succeed.