Position – Public Education K-12
September 13, 2019
Our legislators at every level of government must give highest priority to universal high-quality public education. The goals should be high academic standards, evidence-informed curricula and bias-free education that closes the achievement gap for all students.
Universal high-quality public education is essential in an inclusive society because it provides the kind of education and training necessary for college and career and a laboratory for good citizenship.
Strict adherence to protection of students’ civil rights is required under federal law, including Title V of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA); Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
State and local funding for education varies widely due to property tax inequities that negatively impact on students’ academic achievement.
Teacher turnover is unacceptably high, reported as 20% after one year and 50% after five years. Attracting and retaining qualified school staff requires better salaries.
Workforce projections for 2024 confirm the ten fastest-growing occupations will require significant science or math training. STEM jobs are expected to grow by 18.7 percent from 2010 to 2020.
Current high school curricula is largely abstract, academic content, with little exposure to career options. Career and technical education can help students make strategic decisions about their futures.
OUR ADVOCACY POINTS
Make improvement of public education a top priority for federal, state and local legislators.
Fund public education fully. Focus exclusively on public schools that educate 90% of American students.
Provide for equitable distribution of resources among public school districts.
Compensate educators with higher salaries and greater professional growth opportunities.
Improve both physical safety and protection from discrimination, bullying and violence.
Break up the path from school to incarceration and assure that schools have staff trained in trauma-informed care and restorative justice practices.
Strengthen science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.
Facilitate the transition between high school and post-secondary education or employment by developing and strengthening high school career and technical education programs. Such programs should lead directly into the labor market or into career-focused post-secondary programs of study.
Invest in after-school programs to foster student growth and provide a safe environment.