What the candidates should talk about during tonight’s Democratic presidential debate


by Brian Washington

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The first Democratic presidential debate of the election season is sure to attract lots of eyeballs to television screens all across America. One of those who will definitely be watching tonight is Arkansas educator Ashley Pledger, a high school librarian who says she is looking forward to the candidates discussing those issues that impact students, educators, and public schools.

Educators Votes asked Pledger about the specific topics she wants addressed tonight.

I want to hear them talk about charter schools, especially unregulated charter schools. I am talking about those schools that are not held to the same standards as public schools. I want to see if the candidates are aware of the research and data about the negative impact these charter schools are having on students and public education overall. I believe charter schools are creating inequality in our public education system, and I want to know what they are going to propose to protect students and their futures.


The federal funding of public education is also important. We have to get the kinks out of the regulations and get them straight in order to make sure public schools are getting what they need.

Also, research shows students enrolled in a pre-k program have higher reading levels by the time they reach third grade. I want to hear what the candidates have to say about early pre-K programs and what’s the federal role in making sure all students get off to a good start. I want to know their plans to support and fund existing pre-k programs such as Head Start.

What about you? What education issues do you want to hear the candidates talk about tonight? Head to our Speak Up for Kids and Public Education Facebook page and let us know.

Reader Comments

  1. I want the candidates to discuss how will they ensure kids have a strong public school regardless of their zip code.

  2. I want them to talk about what we need to do to bring equitable funding to all districts no matter what state, region, or city children are in. Child poverty, family economic poverty and the poverty experienced by schools both upon the district and the family is something we should address.

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