I am the proud product of Texas’ public education system. Although several years of my childhood and adolescence were spent living under and close to the poverty line, I was fortunate enough to have access to quality public education until I graduated high school. Without that education, I would not be here today running to be your congresswoman. As a substitute teacher with the Houston Independent School District I see the importance of our education system at work; access to free, quality public education is a cornerstone of why America is considered by many all over the world to be the land of opportunity.
The key to our future is ensuring ALL of our children are given a quality public education, and this begins first with providing Universal Pre-K. The benefits of Pre-K in children’s lives is myriad. Research shows those with an early childhood education: are more likely to graduate from high school, experience improved social skills, a reduction in behavior problems throughout their school career, longer attention spans and better retention of information, and a reduction in need for special education later in school, amongst other benefits.
Read additional research from the Society of Research in Child Development
Read additional research from the Center for Research on Children in the U.S. (CROCUS) at Georgetown University
Additionally, I believe it is the job of Congress to fight legislation that cuts funding for public education, while encouraging and strengthening educational programs that have proven successful and beneficial to our nation’s children. This means ensuring we continue to offer high-quality public, magnet and non-profit charter schooling programs with strict government oversight and accountability. It is our job to protect the future of this country, and the key to that will always be education.
Workforce Skills and Job Training
A 4-year college degree is not the only path to success; I believe we need to increase our focus on the importance of vocational education, allowing for ALL Americans to find their own path to a fulfilling career that pays well, and affords them the opportunity of working towards their own American Dream. For those Americans who don’t want to go to college, we should strengthen the other pathways available to creating a successful career for themselves.
For workers and job-seekers, we must work to deliver strong, consistent, and easily accessible training programs and resources that lead to good jobs and lifelong skills and credentials.
Creating good programs that provide high-quality training
Congress should work to ensure federal, state, and local workforce development resources are used to bring together workers, unions, employers, and training providers at every level, in order to prepare workers for good jobs.
For employers, this plan encourages businesses to invest in their workers for the long term through training, apprenticeships, and creating good jobs.