Prioritizing Education Funding
A well-educated citizenry is key to a functional society. As a citizen of a diverse district, I have seen schools that are in need of greater support (especially in areas that are populated by people of color) and very well-performing schools. As State Senator, funding public education will be one of my top priorities. In the Senate, I will fight for public schools over corporate-run charter schools, which many studies have shown to be no different, if not worse than traditional public schools. I promise, as your Senator, there will be zero cuts to the education budget. Instead, I intend to increase education spending in order to have California’s education system thriving.
Tuition Free College
Nationwide, college students are graduating with more and more student loan debt. At the same time, public universities have increased their tuition costs. As a millennial, I too have had these same struggles of mounting debt and have experienced tuition hikes while attending college.
As one of my primary platform planks, I intend to fight to have tuition-free public colleges and universities in the State of California. It is my view that any student qualified to be admitted to a California university or college should be able to do so, without fear of mounting student debt. Likewise, investing in California’s students means a more talented work force, which will mean more tax revenue for California.
Student Loan Debt
Student-loan debt is a major crisis waiting to happen. Nationwide, students owe up to as much as $1 trillion in student-loan debt. As State Senator, I will explore ways to allow Californians to refinance their loans to the lowest possible interest rates. Some of these solutions may include establishment of a publicly ran bank. As a result, college graduates will have greater spending power, greatly giving a boost to our economy.
As someone who has attended public schools from grades K through 12, I do understand the concerns of some teachers that the state relies heavily on high-stakes testing to measure a school’s performance and student achievement. The STAR Test, as it’s known in California, can make or break a school’s reputation. As state Senator, I intend to reform the use of standardized tests as the sole basis on evaluating a school’s performance and a measure of student achievement.
Public Education & Charter Schools
With the appointment of Betsy DeVos to the Department of Education, it is apparent that Charter schools will continue to exist. As State Senator, if charter schools choose to exist in California, they must follow all the rules as put forth by the State of California. Furthermore, I intend to mandate that all charter schools must be nonprofit and must serve a community good. All charter schools must adopt and adhere to California state academic standards required for graduation from high school.
Charter schools must also adhere to hiring practices as their public school counterparts. Charter schools cannot discriminate against students during the admissions process based on their academic abilities, race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, or disability. Finally, Charter schools must respect the collective bargaining rights of teachers as prescribed by California law. However, if faced with a choice between charter schools and public education, I will choose to fund the latter every single time.