Education is a right, not a privilege! And the manner in which that right is applied will determine America's role as a world leader for future generations.
The cost of higher education in California and across the nation in the past several decades has continued to rise at accelerated speeds. This trend has priced far too many prospective students out of access to a college education entirely, and left even more students with crippling burdens of student debt.
I believes the Student Loan Forgiveness Program passed by former President Obama was an excellent first step, but that the nation must continue to ensure that American students are not gouged by the often exorbitant costs of college tuition and predatory corporate lending programs.
As the mother of five children who attended public schools in Orange County, I recognize the vital importance of the work our teachers do, and understand the challenges they face. As an architect, I am also a huge supporter of STEAM education(Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Architecture, Math), especially for young women.
We are going through a major global economic shift right now, into a high-tech information age that is both undeniable and unstoppable, which should be prepared for, not ignored. Jobs are not being lost to immigrants; jobs are being lost to mechanization. We need to prepare for jobs of future with the best public education system in the world, in order to compete globally. Trump has appointed Betsy DeVos, who wants to end public education as we know it and use America’s schools to build “God’s Kingdom” , taking money out of public education and providing vouchers for private schools, which are typically religious and not held accountable to any curriculum standards.
We can fix this by flipping the House next year, and getting a Brand New Congress who understand how vitally important public education is, from pre-k up through displaced adults in transition. We need to make public education free, from pre-K through college; we need to make public school education one of our TOP budget priorities.
Also, it is shameful that the federal government is making a profit off of student loans. We need to finally address the student loan debt problem in a substantive way, so that college students do not graduate burdened with thousands of dollars in debt.. We need to take the profit out of education, and make sure our tax dollars are going to one of the pillars of a strong economy of the future - public education for all!
When I get to Congress I will fight for America to have the best education system in the world, which is the only way we will compete in the global marketplace:
- Ensure Universal Education as a Right! Educating the citizenry of a nation pays dividends in the long run, with economy getting back much more than is initially put in.
- Make tuition free at Public Colleges & Universities by taxing Wall Street Speculation.
- Stop the Federal Government from making a profit off student loans
- Substantially cut student loan interest rates to 2006 levels (from 5-7% to 2.5%). Crushing student debt should no longer burden young men and women trying to improve their lives through hard work.
- Allow Americans to refinance student loans at low interest rates.
- Tax dollars should be pouring into public schools to make them better, not defunding them with vouchers.
- Fully support public school teachers, and existing federal legislation including Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA).
- Work to promote public/private partnerships between our local Orange County community colleges, and private Green/Cleantech companies to provide free 1-year certification programs training for good paying jobs in those same companies.
Simply put, the next wave of American innovation, ingenuity, artistry, and community service will be produced by an educated, intellectually mobilized populace prepared to tackle the problems of the 21st Century and beyond. If elected, I will make sure that American students are prepared to meet those exciting challenges.