Improve Public Education
Public schools are the backbone of our nation’s economic, political, and social health. No institution impacts families more than the local school system. We must guarantee early childhood education for every person in this country. We must create educational environments that adapt to student learning styles while still ensuring that kids are making progress. We must guarantee that qualified students can attend college and technical schools without the burden of large debts. The future of our country depends on taking all of these steps.
Three pressure points have developed within our education infrastructure that we urgently need to address.
Cost of College
First, college costs have skyrocketed during the last few decades. Parents dig deep in their pockets and students finance their classes with debt. Other students with potential choose to not go to college because they don’t want the debt. Access to college both for young people and for older adult job retraining must be approached as long-term economic development of human capital. I will fight for legislation to make every public college and university in Georgia tuition-free.
Public K-12 Schools
Second, adequate public school funding and more choices are needed. But many of the answers being proposed, such as publicly funded vouchers for private schools and for-profit education, are not the answers. They reflect the symptoms of a broken system. Public school systems need to hear and respond to parent and student feedback and develop publicly funded choices, such as special mission, publicly funded magnet schools. No taxpayer should be forced to leave the public system to achieve success in educating their children.
Third, early childhood education is often unavailable and unaffordable for working parents, causing many to miss out on early childhood educational opportunities. Universal preschool should be incorporated into the K-12 public schools.