Statewide Funding of Schools
“Poverty must not be a bar to learning, and learning must offer an escape from poverty.”
-Lyndon B. Johnson
Disparity in funding for public education has created wide gaps in achievement between public school systems, even within the same communities. At the heart of the issue is the way we fund public education, through property taxes, which makes what street a child grows up on the determining factor of whether he or she will receive quality facilities and resources. And this has led to a new form of segregation, where schools for minority students are far from equal, and very much separate. And while the State under Common Core lists Equity and Diversity as main values of the strategic plan, the only way to guarantee these two aspirations is to break down the artificial barriers we have created around school districts. What we need to fix these problems is statewide public funding of our schools. This does not mean School Districts will lose all authority as they are an important part of the equation and allow parents and community members to have a say in the way schools are run. The funding side should be controlled by the state, after all this is public education and every resident deserves the same support and outcomes, no matter what street they live on within these borders.
Debt-Free Public College
“College is part of the American Dream. It shouldn’t be part of a financial nightmare for families.”
-Barbara Mikuski, US Senator, MD.
The state needs to make sure its best and brightest students can get a quality education and contribute to rebuilding Rhode Island by creating a prosperous future for all residents. So let’s support these students by making sure they are not burdened by student loans nor inhibited by the high cost of education to prohibit them from pursuing their dreams. We can do this by making sure students leave school with no debt from tuition after need and merit-based grants are applied. In exchange, these students will agree to stay and contribute to growing the RI economy for a set period of time. And at the same time, let’s bolster our public university system so it can better serve any resident who wants to pursue a degree. Our investment in education will ensure RI is prepared for the economy of the future.