I value children and young adults as our most valuable assets. Tuition-free public education should begin before kindergarten. And it should continue through technical school and state colleges and universities.
Other industrialized countries have tuition-free schooling for their children. The world's richest nation should do no less.
Free public school through the eighth grade served a 19th-century agricultural economy. Free public school through the 12th grade built the world's greatest industrial economy in the 20th century. In the 21st century, education must reflect the needs of a highly technical and complex world economy.
Moving to tuition-free education--as the state of New York has recently done--is an investment in the future. Technically trained and college educated workers receive higher wages and, in turn, pay more taxes. That increased tax revenue can help pay for tuition-free school for the next graduating class, and the next one, and the next one.
We must reduce the crushing burden of existing student loans, now at $1.5 trillion. We should immediately reduce the interest rate on federally guaranteed loans. Too many former students pay so much to high-interest student debt they cannot buy homes or save for retirement. They live on the economic fringe while wealthy banks and lending institutions rake in millions. It's a drain on the entire economy as debt-ridden young adults put off buying homes and cars and having children.
The first three years of a child's life are critical to their later education. We must invest in early childhood programs like Early Head Start and provide more access to high-quality childcare and preschool programs. Childcare workers and educators deserve a living wage.
If my vision reflects your vision, won't you please volunteer for or contribute to our campaign? Working together, our vision can become reality.