Guarantee Access to Public Education
Education is a pathway to greater opportunity and economy security. However, over the past few decades, the federal government has failed to invest in education. We must ensure that children are set up for success at a young age by guaranteeing access to pre-kindergarten and childcare. We must eliminate the need to borrow for college, and an investment in debt-free college will ensure that everyone, regardless of their income or zip code, has access to a public education.
- Student loan debt has increased 170 percent since 2006
- Currently, 44 million Americans have student loans amounting to about $1.4 trillion, and the burden of debt disproportionately impacts students of color and working-class students
- According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, student loan debt is responsible for 35 percent of the decline in homeownership since 2007
- On average, twelve years after beginning college, Latinx students have only paid off approximately 17 percent of their student loan debt, while African-American students see higher loan balances than the amount they originally borrowed
According to the Levy Institute, student debt cancellation would result in an increase on average of $86 billion to $108 billion per year
Vision and Policy Priorities
Promise every family pre-kindergarten access and affordable childcare
The average cost of full-time care in child care centers for children under 5 years old is $9,589 a year, higher than the average of the cost of in-state tuition. The Child Care and Development Block Grant, a federal program to fund child care for low-income families, is so underfunded that only 15 percent of eligible holders receive federal child care assistance.
- Fund universal prekindergarten programs nationwide
- Support the Child Care for Working Families Act (H.R. 3773), which would:
- Guarantee child care affordability for working families with children under age 13
- Create no co-payments for families with incomes below 75 percent of their state’s average income and families eligible for Head Start
- Fund full-day, full-year Head Start programming
- Ensure child care workers and early childhood educators to ensure all workers are fully-trained and paid a living wage
Pass Tuition-Free Public Education and Cancel All Student Debt
The inability to pay tuition should not be a deterrent for any student seeking to go to college. Making public two- and four-year colleges and universities accessible is essential to investing in an equitable future. College graduates are burdened with student debt. Over a trillion dollars in potential stimulus to local economies is tied up in student.
- Guarantee tuition-free and debt-free two- and four-year public colleges and universities
- Expand funding for Federal Pell grants and ensure they can be used to cover all expenses for college, such as housing, books, food, etc
- Cancel all $1.4 trillion dollars in student debt