A child’s early years are the foundation for their future development. Access to quality education where emphasis is placed not only on developing basic and social skills, but also on achieving proper literacy and math levels, is indispensable.
We will feel the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in our academic communities for years to come. Online school was difficult for everyone — teachers, students, parents — and the difficulties have been compounded by wealth disparities. When private schools returned to in-person classrooms, many of our public schools remained online. Some students had parents who knew how to work the technology, who could stay home from work and help their student concentrate and learn. But those luxuries were not universal, and our education policy needs to be updated to address the resulting widening achievement gap, the burden of costs associated with higher academic institutions, and the redefinition of what success looks like post K – 12.
1. Raising teacher pay
Our teachers are grossly underpaid. These are the individuals raising the next generation of scientists, doctors, artists, librarians, and politicians. They are indispensable and, simultaneously, undervalued.
Teachers in the United States are paid far less than individuals in professions that require similar levels of education and skills. By raising teacher pay, we will be helping not just these individuals and their families, but our kids and their futures.
2. Making public college tuition 100% tax deductible
As states have invested less per-student at community colleges and public four-year universities, schools have raised tuition and fees to make up that gap. Simultaneously, students are finding that college degrees are more and more essential to getting jobs in our modern-day economy
Parents and students who are footing the bill for college degrees are finding the degrees less and less affordable. We need to take the first step toward alleviating this financial burden and make college tuition 100% tax deductible.
3. Investing in the trades, apprenticeship, and credentialing programs
We need to invest in and develop our trade, apprenticeship, and credentialing programs and ensure that the next generation of electricians, pharmacy technicians, plumbers, paralegals, and the like are given well-funded and well-developed opportunities.
4. Include federal funding for mental health services for students, teachers, and staff
5. Forgiving $50K in student loan debt, lessening the financial burden on countless Americans