For our economy, democracy, and future, we need to ensure every student—no matter who they are, what they look like, or where they live—has access to a quality education. Yet, millions of students start school behind due to a lack of access to high quality early education. Millions of teachers are burdened with student loan debt and forced to buy school supplies out of pocket, often needing to work a second or third job to support their families. Millions of college graduates are struggling to pay off unmanageable student loans. Too many students do not graduate from college and still struggle to pay back their loans. Beto’s plan will build an education system that treats our schools, teachers, and students like our future depends on them—because it does.
That means ensuring access to preschool for all; creating a permanent fund for equity and excellence to ensure families have access to high-quality public schools, regardless of where they live, their race, or how much money they have; increasing teacher pay, supporting diversity in the teaching profession; closing the achievement gap: ending the schoolhouse to jailhouse pipeline; and making sure every American can pursue higher-education without drowning in debt.Read our full plan
Beto believes every child deserves access to high-quality early childhood education and care, because the first five years of life have proven to be a critical time for a child’s development. As president, Beto will:
- Achieve a system of universal pre-K—a program that studies have shown helps to close achievement gaps and returns multiples on every dollar invested
- Invest in home-visiting programs—which have been proven to not only help address maternal and infant mortality, but improve preschool readiness, increase early literacy rates, and put children on track for high school graduation
- Ensure access to affordable, high quality childcare by increasing funding for the Child Care Development Block Grant and expanding the Child Care Tax Credit, making it refundable.
- Support increased wages for those working in early childhood education and care and provide loan forgiveness for early childhood educators
Beto believes educators deserve to be paid like our future depends on them—because it does. And yet, as we ask educators to prepare kids for everything from high-stakes tests to active shooters, we fail to provide them with the support they need to do their jobs. As president, Beto will:
- Immediately forgive outstanding student loan debt for public educators tax-free, including early childhood educators
- Support educators’ right to join and form a union and collectively bargain
- Fight for a professional wage for educators
- Provide teachers with the opportunity to take on leadership roles in their schools and obtain advanced credentials as they progress through their careers—guaranteeing federal funding for National Board Certification, providing free tuition for graduate degrees, and creating a Master Teacher Corps
- Invest in teacher preparation to raise the quality of those programs and to diversify the profession, dedicating $500 million per year to teacher residency programs and creating a new program of $500 million per year, funding world class teacher academies at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs)
- Fully fund IDEA and create a permanent fund for equity and excellence in order to increase the funds available to schools so that teachers have the resources they need to be successful and are paid a professional wage
- Read the plan here.
Beto believes our public schools and educators are responsible for shaping the future of our country—and he believes every student, no matter who they are, what they look like, or where they live, deserves a quality education. As president, he will:
- Appoint a Secretary of Education who has a background in public education.
- Develop a $500 billion Permanent Fund for Equity and Excellence in Education with the goal of closing funding gaps based on race and income. The Fund will:
- Provide resources to states and districts to close funding gaps based on race and income; develop a community-driven process to determine how those funds are used; require recipients of funding to conduct an opportunity audit and create goals and accountability for closing achievement and resource gaps
- With input from teachers, parents, students, community leaders, each school receiving funding will engage in a community-driven process to determine how those funds are used to tackle inequality, increase diversity, create community schools, attract high quality teachers with higher salaries
- Recipients of funding will be required to conduct an opportunity audit each year to ensure accountability for closing gaps in achievement and resources
- Promote diversity in our schools by:
- Doubling funding for Federal Magnet School program;
- Enacting and funding the Strength in Diversity Act
- Reinvigorating the work of the Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Education and the Department of Justice to investigate racial disparities and promote efforts to integrate our schools and communities
- Addressing the diversity gap in teaching. Students of color are projected to constitute 56% of the student population by 2024. And yet, teachers of color only make up approximately 20% of the teacher population. Beto would increase the pipeline of diverse teacher candidates by:
- Starting a new program funded at $500 million per year designed to create-world class teacher academies at MSIs and HBCUs. Money would be used to provide scholarships and support mentorship programs.
- Creating a program that provides $500 million per year for postsecondary institutions to partner with high need school districts to create residency programs that allow those working in schools as instructional aides to become certified as teachers. Participants in the program would receive a $10,000 stipend and the school district would receive support to build a high quality in-classroom training program. Teaching residencies have been proven to improve gender and racial diversity in districts, and bolster retention rates.
Fully fund the federal government’s share of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA);
Invest $100 billion in school infrastructure, and ensure our students are safe throughout the school day
Read the plan here
Beto believes we need to end the school-to-prison pipeline, which disproportionately punishes children of color. As president, Beto would end racial disparities in school discipline, by:
- Issuing a federal ban on the use of corporal punishment in schools, which is disproportionately used on black students and students with disabilities
- Providing funding to implement restorative justice in schools, with black boys three times more likely to be suspended than their white peers, and black girls six times more likely
- Requiring teacher preparation programs to address racial bias and cultural competency in their curriculum
Beto believes no American should be prevented from living their lives—whether they want to buy a house, start a family, open a business, or pursue additional education—because of student debt. That’s why he wants to ensure there are debt-free higher education options. As president, he will:
- Make Community College free for every American.
- Make the first two years of tuition at a state institution or technical college free for every American.
- Support meeting the full cost of attendance for low-income students and ensuring the middle-income students have debt-free options—covering the full costs of tuition, books, as well as room and board—through increased grant aid tied to a commitment from states and institutions to do their part and keep tuition stable.
- Allow borrowers with high interest rate private student loan debt to refinance at lower federal interest rates.
- Accelerating student loan forgiveness for educators, with total loan forgiveness for those who have spent five years in a public school
- Streamline and expand public service loan-forgiveness, enabling those working in public service to have 10% of their debt forgiven for each year served
- Increase accountability for outcomes and crack down on predatory practices at for-profit institutions
- Increase accessibility and affordability in higher education including debt free options for low- and middle-income students at four-year institutions
- Increase support for HBCUs and minority serving institutions
- Invest in apprenticeships and technical certificates aligned with high demand jobs paying living wages