We know that education is the big divide and a key element for economic upward mobility. We believe our children are worth fighting and that every student has the right to access high-quality, equitable education and free from discriminatory practices. Education is a financial investment which will help close the achievement gap & subsequent economic disparities.

We can put our schools back on top by working with parents, teachers, our local governments and tech businesses to create public-private partnerships to solve our challenges and invest in our future.

To do so, it is imperative we continue to advocate for free public education at all levels with strong quality public schools in every neighborhood; require transparency, accountability & inclusive decision-making for all school & policy-making boards; implement publicly-funded, universal play-based preschool; reduce class sizes (+20 to 17) in schools impacted by poverty, racism and language barriers; implement programs which increase graduation rates for minority students and those from underserved communities; and support adult education programs.

We know there are huge disparities in how students are being educated, access to learning tools and/or technology, and which services and supports are being provided. Assessing these gaps has been an ongoing realization that much of the issue related to achievement gaps is actually not a school issue - it is a poverty issue, it is a societal issue that shows up at school. Think for a moment of the most underperforming schools - where are they located? Generally, in the most chronically economically depressed areas? When there are areas of concentrated poverty, no matter the resources poured into those schools - the trainings, the teaching, the incentives – the effects of poverty will creep into the children's lives and distract their attention from the learning that needs to happen outside of the classroom. Their preoccupation with their life, indeed their survival, will take precedence over their studies, their education. These students would benefit “greatly” with the type of purposeful school integration that places low-income students into schools in more affluent areas. 

To truly reduce the achievement gap and subsequent economic disparities, we will need a “real” educational evolution and determine the services, programs and supports required to meet student needs. We can accomplish this best by working directly with our Students, Parents, Educators, and other Stakeholders. Instead of employing one-size-fits-all teaching methods, we can customize our educational systems to truly teach our young people and others how to be critical thinkers, analytical people, creative thinkers, and innovators. We can help them use all of their learning modalities to learn new skills and further develop learned skills. 

We can ensure the educational needs of all students are determined equitably and on the basis of (i.e. true need) rather than parents’ zip codes & bank accounts. 

To meet safety standards, we will increase safety and personal protective supplies and take the necessary fact- and scientific-based measures to ensure our children and school staff are safe during the pandemic and beyond.

Lastly, research shows that children respond better when they are well-fed, so we will establish matching funds programs to combat food insecurity and ensure healthy school breakfasts and snacks are reinstated in schools and food pantry programs are available on college campuses. 

EDUCATIONAL TRAUMA/ SENSETIVITY

Based on many of the social dynamics currently existing in our schools, we must provide full wraparound mental health & social services for all students & families, ensuring teachers and staff are provided proper training to manage situations which occur in a culturally sensitive and knowledgeable manner. 

In order to fully address many of these issues on a daily basis. It is imperative teachers, teacher aides, substitutes, counselors, administrators are either hired from the neighborhoods which service trauma-affected youth or are adequately trained and undergo extensive firsthand experience dealing with these youth in a culturally sensitive way to attain an appropriate level of cultural competency and sensitivity to the issues affecting these students. Especially that which may hamper their ability to be fully engaged in the educational process.

We will also dedicate funding and resources to build technology infrastructure to eliminate digital divides in urban & rural communities and those low-wage earners lacking access to technology and internet including providing screen readers to the visually impaired and special equipment to those with physical or hearing challenges.

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