March 1, 2020

Bernie: "We believe in ED-U-CA-TION."

A short post this time to mention that the Sanders platform is more than just tuition-free higher education and student debt forgiveness.

At a rally in Columbia, SC, two days ago, Sanders made these points, starting around 11:50.
We believe that all of our kids — and this is a national issue ... regardless of the income of their families, deserve a high-quality public education.

We’re going to triple funding for Title I schools.

I don’t know about triple, but Title I schools need a ton of services they just aren’t getting, from special ed services, to school nurses and health positions, social workers, food, meaningful before-and after-school programs, equipment and supplies, you name it.
In America, teachers should be focussed on teaching ... and that is why we’re going to fight to make sure all teachers in America receive at least $60,000 a year in salary. 
Other than after-school or mentoring programs, they shouldn’t need to take on additional non-related jobs, like the teacher he spoke to in South Carolina who drives an Uber and waitresses on the side.

(I have to interject here that I’m not crazy about filling positions with under-qualified post-grads and giving them the same salary as certified teachers. There was too much of that going on when I retired in 2011 and maybe still is. I mean, six weeks summer training after getting a BA? That’s just unjustifiable. We aren’t paying for babysitters, we’re paying for skilled workers. Apprentice teachers — interns, or whatever you want to call them — should get one salary, certified teachers should get another. Salaries shouldn’t be equal if the training isn’t equal, much less the experience.

The Education platform is on his website with a lot more details: read it here.  It also lists:
  • Combat racial discrimination and school segregation (though I don’t know how you can stop school segregation AND have local schools without rebuilding cities)
  • End the unaccountable profit-motive of charter schools (Yeah!  Actually, his platform specifically states he’d like to ban for-profit charter schools and have a moratorium on public funds for charter school expansion).  “WE DO NOT NEED TWO SCHOOL SYSTEMS.”
  • Expand collective bargaining rights
  • Better fund special education
  • Protect the rights of students from harassment, discrimination, and violence
  • Rebuild, modernize, and green our nation’s schools.
I love, love, love this platform, which reads like a What’s Wrong with Public Education in the Year 2020, and I can’t think why advocating these things isn’t just a no-brainer for anyone running for public office.

Medicare for All and the Sanders stance on public education is nothing less than a win-win for the entire country.

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