Investing in our youngest children
Improving education in Alabama starts with our youngest children. We need to support affordable daycare programs to give working parents options they can count on. We also need to expand public pre-k education. Alabama has the top ranked public pre-k program in the nation, but only about 30% of children have access.
All our children need public pre-k. For every dollar we spend on pre-k, we as taxpayers save $7 in future public assistance costs. If we want Alabama's children to excel and our state's education system to become a leader, we must begin by expanding public pre-k education.
If we want quality teachers in Alabama, then we need to give young leaders incentive to join the profession and seasoned educators reason to stay. Alabama’s K-12 teachers need to be compensated at a more competitive rate – and after a lifetime of educating our children, our public school teachers need to be able to retire in dignity with confidence that their retirement will be protected. Attacks on teachers’ retirement are unacceptable.
Some schools in our district are raising the bar for quality education – and we must continue to invest in high-performing schools. They provide our children with an excellent education and draw businesses to the district. But we can’t stop there. We need to support children, teachers, and schools in severely underfunded school districts so that all our children have access to the education that Alabama’s children deserve. We cannot continue to let our children fall behind just because of where their parents could find a home.
Finally, our children must feel safe and be safe when they’re at school. That’s why it’s essential to have school psychologists, counseling services, and resource officers. Violence has become common in our schools, and adequate mental health resources are the best means of prevention.
Higher Ed & Career Academies
We need to support all of Alabama’s colleges and universities. They provide quality higher education to Alabama's students and recruit the best and brightest to our state.
Reliable, consistent support for our institutions of higher education can spur growth – not just for our campuses, but for the larger economy. That’s why it’s more important now than ever that we fight cuts to funding for our institutions which would cause continued tuition hikes. Educational debt hinders the ability of young Alabamians to become independent adults who can contribute to our economy. For our young people and our economy to grow, we need to prepare our children for careers without massive debt.
College is not for everyone, however, and the middle class should not be closed off to people who choose another route. That’s why career academies need to be expanded now. We need to stop telling our students that college is the only path to success and instead provide programs which allow them to develop skills to be successful after high school.