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The race to the White House is heating up! Here are some of the early candidates and how they stack up in terms of public education.

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Joe Biden (D)
Michael Bloomberg (D)
Pete Buttigieg (D)
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D)
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D)
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I)
Tom Steyer (D)
Pres. Donald Trump (R)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D)
Bill Weld (R)
Joe Biden (D)

About Joe

  • Joe Biden served as Vice President of the United States from 2009 to 2017.
  • Prior to his election to the Vice Presidency, Biden served as Senator from Delaware from 1973 to 2009.

On the Issues

  • It’s personal. According to the former vice president, “educators deserve a partner in the White House.” His plan for education includes eliminating funding disparities between schools, ensuring families have access to support services and modernized school buildings, and increasing the federal government’s investment in educators. As a child with a stutter, he recalls, “I had teachers who first and foremost worked on my confidence, told me I was smart, told me I could do what I needed to do, sat with me and gave me the confidence to stand up and try to speak.”

    Source: (Biden for President, accessed 1/21/2020; NBC News, 12/14/19)

  • The government needs to do its part. Commending “educators around the country” for taking action “for the resources they need to serve their students,” the former vice president proposes investing more than $800 billion to triple Title I, fully fund IDEA, and update school infrastructure. He believes “educators shouldn’t have to fight so hard for resources and respect.”

    Source: (Biden for President, accessed 1/21/2020; Committee for a Responsible Federal Government, 1/14/2020)

  • He’s with workers. “To ensure public sector workers, including public school educators, have a greater voice in the decisions that impact their students and their working conditions,” the former vice president “would establish minimum collective bargaining rights for public-sector employees” and create a cabinet-level working group to promote unions.

    Source: (Biden for President, accessed 1/21/2020; Politico, 10/25/19)

  • Supports rooting out racism. If elected, the former vice president would direct his Justice Department to “prioritize prosecuting hate crimes.” Concerning the rise of white supremacists, he has stated that “silence is complicity.” “The only way … you deal with it is you attack it, you expose it, you embarrass … You call them out,” and “most of all, you call them out to our children.”

    Source: (Biden for President, accessed 1/21/2020; USA Today, 8/27/19)

  • Knows that smaller classes work. Recognizing the impact of small classes “particularly in the early grades,” the former vice president supports educators in their “fight for smaller class sizes.” As a U.S. Senator, he also introduced legislation to reduce class size, and suggested that small classes should be “one pillar of our education system.”

    Source: (Twitter, 9/23/19; Vote Smart, 10/1/07)

  • Universal pre-K is an investment. In outlining his plans for a Biden Administration, the former vice president has committed to providing “high-quality, universal pre-kindergarten for all three- and four-year olds.” He believes that “this investment will ease the burden on our families, help close the achievement gap, promote the labor participation of parents who want to work, and lift our critical early childhood education workforce out of poverty.”

    Source: (Biden for President, accessed 1/22/20)

  • Supports a postsecondary reinvestment. According to the former vice president, the country needs “a bold plan for education and training beyond high school.” He proposes investing $750 billion to ensure free community college, additional resources for historically black colleges and universities and tribal colleges, in addition to support for “facility and technology upgrades.”

    Source: (Biden for President, accessed 1/22/20; The Washington Post, 10/8/19)

  • It’s been time. The former vice president laments, “it’s past time we close the pay gap and ensure women get paid as much as men.” While serving in the Obama administration, he was involved with passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and advocated for the Paycheck Fairness Act, which is legislation designed to help women who have faced wage discrimination. “Due to both their gender and the color of their skin,” he recognizes the injustice of pay disparities among women of color. He believes, “We must right these wrongs and close the gender pay gap once and for all.”

    Source: (The Hill, 6/16/19; Twitter, 9/23/19; CNN, 7/20/10)

  • Obamacare is a good start. The former vice president does not support healthcare plans that “start from scratch and get rid of private insurance.” His plan for expanding even more access to healthcare would include providing a public option, premium tax credits for working families, and lowering the cost of prescription drugs. He explains that “every American has a right to the peace of mind that comes with knowing they have access to affordable, quality health care.”

    Source: (Biden for President, accessed 1/23/20)

  • Vehemently opposes privatization. With Social Security funds starting to decline in 2020, the former vice president supports “raising the payroll tax earnings cap” and taxing the wealthy to help the program. He has said “I don’t know a whole lot of people in the top one-tenth of 1% or top 1% [who] are relying on Social Security when they retire.” He also supports “letting public sector workers, including teachers who are not eligible for Social Security, to begin receiving pension benefits sooner than the 10 years that many of their plans currently require.” In expanding benefits, he would ensure payments kept recipients above the poverty line, and he also would increase assistance for widows and widowers.

    Source: (Biden for President, accessed 1/23/20; CNBC, 7/29/19; The Motley Fool, 5/31/19)

  • Believes Trump tax cuts exacerbate inequality. The former vice president sees “economic inequality…pulling this country apart,” and vows to end special interest tax breaks and multimillionaire loopholes. Features of his tax plan include ending “the preferential treatment of investment income”; instituting “a 15 percent minimum corporate tax, to prevent corporations from using loopholes to reduce their tax bills to nothing”; and raising “the top income tax rate to 39.6 percent, where it was before the Trump tax cuts.”

    Source: (Biden for President Campaign Website, accessed 1/23/20; The Washington Post, 12/5/19)

  • Opposes federal funding of charter schools. The former vice president supports public schools and does not agree with “any federal funding going to for-profit charter schools.” For existing charters, he believes that potential students should not be subjected to admissions tests. When approached about his position on charter schools, he reiterated his support for banning for-profits and increasing accountability.

    Source: (The Washington Post, accessed 1/23/20; Chalkbeat, accessed 1/23/20)

  • Supports raises for educators. The former vice president proposes “tripling federal funding for Title I” to help school districts “offer educators competitive salaries.” He believes that “we have to reward teachers. They are the single most important ingredient we have … because the teachers hold the kite strings of the children who will send our national ambitions aloft.”

    Source: (Biden for President Campaign Website, accessed 1/23/20; Education Next, 11/13/19)

  • Opposes vouchers. The former vice president affirms, “when we divert public funds to private schools, we undermine the entire public education system. We’ve got to prioritize investing in our public schools, so every kid in America gets a fair shot. That’s why I oppose vouchers.”

    Source: (Twitter, 1/22/20)

  • Knows how to beat the NRA. The former vice president believes that to reduce gun violence, the federal government should close gun show loopholes and “ban the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.” If elected president, he pledges that “I will defeat the NRA again…I’ve done it before—twice.” He previously led Congress to pass background checks “and bans on assault weapons.” According to him, “I’m so tired about people talking about your prayers. Damn it, we have to protect these kids. We have to do it now.”

    Source: (Bustle, accessed 9/3/19; Los Angeles Times, 11/14/19)

  • Schools need a leader who understands them. If elected president, he has pledged “to appoint a teacher as education secretary.” To support students and ensure their success, the former vice president proposes doubling the number of health professionals in schools, supporting more community schools, and providing infrastructure resources “to build cutting-edge, energy-efficient, innovative schools with technology and labs to prepare our students for the jobs of the future.”

    Source: (Chalkbeat, 8/28/19; Biden for President Campaign Website, accessed 1/23/20)

  • Would erase educators’ loan debt. The former vice president sees no reason for educators “to worry about how they are going to make their student loan payments while they are busy educating the next generation.” He proposes expanding access to the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, with special provisions for educators.

    Source: (Biden for President, accessed 1/23/20)

Michael Bloomberg (D)

About Michael

  • Michael Bloomberg served as Mayor of New York City from 2002 to 2013.
  • Prior to his election, Bloomberg worked in banking and investment.

On the Issues

  • The end justifies the means. As NYC mayor, his education agenda included closing schools, extending the school day, and supporting charter school growth. He believes that “if we shield our children from taking tests…bad things happen.” According to the mayor, “I was tired of hearing the excuses,” and he credits increased accountability for cutting the city’s achievement gap and increasing graduation rates. He admits, “we couldn’t have asked for better partners in Washington than President Obama and his education secretary Arne Duncan.”

    Source: (Education Next, 7/24/19)

  • You get what you pay for. The former NYC mayor almost doubled the education budget in the city from $13 billion to $22 billion. Increasing overall education spending allowed the city to support pay raises for educators, pension and benefit enhancements, and ongoing school construction. The mayor believes, “kids in Harlem and Detroit and Memphis are every bit as equal to kids in Beverly Hills and Grosse Pointe and Scarsdale, and they deserve schools and teachers that are every bit as good.”

    Source: (The New York Times, 7/1/2009; Education Next, 7/24/19)

  • Happy to have the conversation. Although he believes that “organizing around a common interest is a fundamental part of democracy,” the former NYC mayor expressed concern about “providing pensions, benefits and job security protections for public workers that almost no one in the private sector enjoys.” According to the mayor, “The job of labor leaders is to get the best deal for their members. The job of elected officials is to get the best deal for all citizens.”

    Source: (The New York Times, 2/8/11)

  • He’s seen the light. Before announcing his presidential candidacy, the former NYC mayor apologized for his support of stop and frisk police tactics. Under his watch, of the more than 500,000 stops “black and Latino people were nine times as likely as white people to be targeted by the police.” According to the mayor, “I got something important really wrong. I didn’t understand back then the full impact…”

    Source: (The New York Times, 11/17/2019)

  • Are we still talking about class size? For the former NYC mayor, class size is not as important as “better teachers.” He believes that if schools were to “double class size with a better teacher… [it would be] a good deal for the students.”

    Source: (Chalkbeat, 12/2/11)

  • Supports expanding access to pre-K programs. Although not slated for universal access, his administration “sought to expand pre-K offerings in low-income parts of the city.”

    Source: (The Atlantic, 2/25/15)

  • Time to recommit. Higher education is connected to the American dream according to the former NYC mayor, and “there may be no better investment we can make.” He supports federal and state governments renewing their “commitment to improving access to college and reducing the often prohibitive burdens debt places on so many students and families.” In the meantime, he personally supports initiatives that provide scholarships, college advising, and encourages college graduates to give back to institutions.

    Source: (The New York Times, 11/18/18)

  • The jury is still out. The candidate has offered no specific statement about fair pay, but has denied accusations of discrimination for years. The former NYC mayor stands by his record of promoting women “to leading roles at City Hall” and ushering in the city’s first female deputy mayor.

    Source: (The New York Times, 11/14/19)

  • Supports transitioning to universal coverage. The former NYC mayor has a plan to improve access to affordable health care. He believes that “health care in the United States costs too,” and he proposes “a Medicare-like public option” for Americans. His plan also calls for building on existing features of the Affordable Care Act and lowering drug costs by negotiating prices with pharmaceutical companies and stimulating competition.

    Source: (Mike Bloomberg 2020, accessed 1/25/20)

  • It is what it is. According to the former NYC mayor, “no program to reduce the deficit makes any sense…unless you address…entitlements…[like] Medicare…Social Security.” His recommendations for shoring up programs for future retirees include increasing the retirement age to 69 and cutting the annual cost-of-living increase. He also would “increase Medicare premiums, raising co-pays in an attempt to dissuade retirees from using too many medical services.”

    Source: (On the Issues, accessed 12/18/19; Rolling Stone, 1/26/16)

  • Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cut went too far. Instead of giving “corporations big tax cuts they don’t need…and allowing the wealthy to shelter more of their estates,” the former NYC mayor would expand the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and improve the Earned Income Tax Credit “to share the gains of growth more broadly.” According to the mayor, President Trump and Congressional Republicans missed an opportunity to address “wage stagnation, inequality, rising deficits and crumbling infrastructure.”

    Source: (Money, 12/15/17; Mike Bloomberg 2020, accessed 12/18/19)

  • Supports charter schools. In remarks before the NAACP, which has called for a moratorium on charter schools, the former NYC mayor described charter opponents as trying “to take options away from our kids.” Although he agreed with criticism of failing charters, be blamed lack of oversight and weak charter laws. He believes, “in New York, we showed that when charters are granted carefully, and overseen rigorously, the results can be incredibly impressive…” However, a NYC charter executive admitted that “we need to get our own house stronger and better, [because our network of charter schools] cannot be a legitimate alternative to traditional public schools unless it serves all students…”

    Source: (NAACP, 10/15/16; Education Next, 7/24/19; The New York Times, 7/5/19)

  • Supports salary increases for educators. By almost doubling the city’s education budget, the former NYC mayor “gave a 43% raise to teachers.” He believes that “around the country, the low salaries that many teachers are paid are a disgrace – and I think we should fix it.”

    Source: (Mike Bloomberg 2020, accessed 12/18/19; Education Next, 7/24/19)

  • Vouchers don’t make sense. When asked about his support for private school vouchers, the former NYC mayor admitted that supporting vouchers is politically unpopular. He agrees with opponents who assert that “it divert money from the public schools.”

    Source: (Observer, 2/15/08)

  • He has a plan for a national gun policy agenda. Citing that guns kill 100 Americans daily, the former NYC mayor believes the country needs a president who will make gun safety a “top priority.” His comprehensive proposal includes enhanced background checks; prohibiting domestic abusers’ access to guns; reinstating the federal ban on assault weapons; and investing $300 million in intervention programs, gun violence research, and increased ATF funding.

    Source: (Mike Bloomberg 2020, accessed 12/18/19)

  • Supports expanding programs that connect students with career opportunities. Under his administration, the former NYC mayor “created innovative new high schools that combine work experience, internships, and career credentials with a traditional curriculum.” Working though his charitable organization and private entities, he has created clean energy jobs and provided “skills-training for high-demand jobs” for about 22,000 students across the country.

    Source: (Mike Bloomberg 2020, accessed 12/18/19)

  • The devil is in the details. Although the former NYC mayor has not offered a plan for public service loan forgiveness, he does support “canceling some debt based on income” but qualifies that “you can’t forgive it all.”

    Source: (The Washington Post, accessed 1/23/20; NBC News, 1/11/20)

Pete Buttigieg (D)

About Pete

  • Pete Buttigieg is the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, winning election in 2011 and 2015.
  • At the age of 29 he was the youngest mayor of a city with more than 100,000 residents in the nation.

On the Issues

  • We need a new reality. The former mayor believes that “when we strengthen our education system, we strengthen our democracy.” As president, he proposes supporting a diverse system that “will nurture students’ curiosity, creativity, and ingenuity.” According to the former mayor, “my administration will focus on providing students the skills and the support they need to succeed by investing early and prioritizing equity.”

    Source: (Pete for America Campaign Website, accessed 1/22/20; Yahoo! Finance, 12/7/19)

  • Supports significant increases for public schools. The former mayor’s $1 trillion plan for students and families includes $425 billion for public schools, which he describes as “drivers of equity.” He proposes tripling funds for Title I schools “to combat inequality, raise educational performance, and prepare American students for the 21st Century.”

    Source: (Pete for America Campaign Website, accessed 1/22/20; The Washington Post, 12/7/19)

  • It’s time for an upgrade. According to the former mayor, “our modern economy is much more fragmented, threatening worker bargaining power even in industries where unions have traditionally been strong.” He plans to empower workers by ending “’right-to-work’ laws, which ban union security in collective bargaining,” and will support public service workers, who “should not have to give up their organizing rights in the workplace.”

    Source: (Pete for America Campaign Website, accessed 1/22/20)

  • Proposes a 21st century approach to dismantling racist institutions. Citing historic inequities in education, health care, and incarceration, the mayor proposes comprehensive investments in his Douglass Plan “to make an unprecedented commitment to…those who have historically faced discrimination.” He acknowledges that “America’s racist structures were built to justify and perpetuate slavery.” According to the mayor, “by achieving greater equity for Black Americans we lay the groundwork for achieving greater equity for other people of color as well.”

    Source: (Pete for America Campaign Website, accessed 10/17/19)

  • Teacher shortages hurt. The former mayor has not specifically commented on reducing class size, but he believes that “too many children are being denied educational justice…from inadequate resources and critical teacher shortages.” His plan for education, called “Keeping the Promise for America’s Children” would provide substantial additional resources for students at Title I schools.

    Source: (The Post and Courier, 5/1/19; Pete for America, accessed 1/22/20)

  • Supports universal pre-K. The former mayor proposes a systemic plan for providing universal pre-K nationwide. He would invest “$700 billion to provide affordable, universal, full-day, year-round childcare and pre-K for all children, from infancy to age 5.” His plan also includes resources to “raise the salaries of early-childhood educators” and “promote equity across the early learning system.”

    Source: (The Washington Post, 12/7/19; Pete for America, accessed 1/23/20)

  • Free tuition only for those who need it. The former mayor has stated “access to…higher education is increasingly necessary to thrive. But for too many Americans that opportunity is out of reach.” According to his college affordability plan, public tuition should only be free for families earning up to $100,000. In considering free college for everyone, he believes “if you’re in that lucky top 10%, I still wish you well…I just want you to go ahead and pay your own tuition.”

    Source: (Pete for America, accessed 1/23/20; Yahoo! Finance, 12/19/19)

  • He has a plan for gender pay equity. By his calculation, “we won’t close the gender pay gap for all women—including women of color, for whom the gap is largest—for over 200 years.” The former mayor’s plan for closing the pay gap includes requiring greater transparency and actively holding “employers accountable for evidence of discrimination.”

    Source: (Pete for America, accessed 1/23/20)

  • Wants the best of both worlds. Although he believes in universal health care, “The best way to do that is a Medicare for all who want it.” The former mayor’s approach would “take some flavor of Medicare, [and]…make it available on the exchange as a public option.” He assures, “the public alternative will provide the same essential health benefits as those currently available on the marketplaces and ensure that everyone has access to high-quality, comprehensive coverage.”

    Source: (Pete for America Campaign Website, accessed 1/23/20; CNN, 7/13/19)

  • Social Security can be saved. As a supporter of the program and its solvency, the former mayor proposes to “adjust tax rates for high earners.” In doing so, he would gradually shift more of the financial burden away from low-income recipients. According to him,” by ensuring the most fortunate pay their fair share,” the country can “fully protect Social Security for the next generation without cutting anyone’s benefits.”

    Source: (Pete for America Campaign Website, accessed 1/23/20)

  • Tax cuts for the wealthy don’t work. The former mayor was not in favor of President Trump’s $1.5 trillion-dollar tax cut. Instead, he favors “reforming the capital gains tax on the top 1% of all earners…[and] eliminating various tax cuts and reforms Trump made for the wealthy.”

    Source: (Indianapolis Star, 11/8/19)

  • He’s for public education—period. His vision for the future of education does not include for-profit charters. He believes that “expansion of charter schools…is something that we need to really draw back on until we’ve corrected what needs to be corrected in terms of underfunded public education.” He also has stated firmly that voucher programs “come at the expense of quality public education.”

    Source: (Chalkbeat, accessed 1/23/20)

  • Supports a pay increase for educators. The former mayor proposes “triple funding for Title I to support additional services for low-income students above and beyond state and local funding resources, as well as to raise teacher salaries.” He believes “we must respect and value our teachers as the essential public servants that they are and compensate them accordingly.”

    Source: (Pete for America Campaign Website, accessed 1/23/20; Chalkbeat, accessed 1/23/20)

  • Supports public education first. The former mayor does not support private school vouchers. He believes in focusing and correcting “underfunded public education.” Vouchers, he concludes, “come at the expense of quality public education.”

    Source: (Chalkbeat, accessed 1/23/20)

  • Arming educators is an admission of defeat. The former mayor opposes proposals that support arming educators. He believes that “it’d be such an enormous, condemnation of our country if we were to become the only developed nation where this is necessary.” To reduce gun violence, he supports creating national gun licensing programs and banning assault weapons. The former mayor believes eliminating access to these weapons should be a no-brainer, as he asks, “since when are American cities and neighborhoods supposed to be war zones?”

    Source: (Axios, 10/2/19; CNN, 8/6/19; Chalkbeat, accessed 1/23/20)

  • Supports students facing educational injustice. The former mayor observes that “America’s education system takes already vast disparities and makes them worse.” By tripling funding for Title I schools, the federal government could invest in programs to “prepare and retain future educators to teach in Title I schools… expand mental health services in schools for students and teachers…[and] give every child access to after-school programs and summer learning opportunities.”

    Source: (Pete for America Campaign Website, accessed 1/23/20)

  • Supports public service loan forgiveness. Included in his higher education plan, the former mayor would “provide earlier student loan forgiveness for public servants,” and “improve the management” of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. In addition, he also supports “full debt cancellation after 10 years of service.”

    Source: (Pete for America, accessed 1/23/20)

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D)
U.S. House, Hawaii

About Tulsi

  • Tulsi Gabbard currently represents Hawaii’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House.
  • Prior to her U.S. House election, she served in the Hawaii House of Representatives, the Honolulu City Council, and as a company commander in the National Guard.

On the Issues

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D)
U.S. Senate, Minnesota

About Amy

  • Amy Klobuchar has represented Minnesota in the U.S. Senate since 2007.
  • Prior to her election, she served as county attorney for Hennepin County.

On the Issues

  • Supports a new federal-state partnership. Her K-12 plan proposes a Progress Partnership, which would give states matching federal funds if they implement specific programs. These include increasing teacher pay, increasing postsecondary preparedness, and creating a school infrastructure improvement fund.

    Source: (Bloomberg, 7/5/19)

  • Time to follow the money. The Senator proposes creating a commission to review the current education funding formula in states to ensure funds are equally dispersed. As part of her Progress Partnership, she believes the commission is a critical component in elevating “the voices of our educators” and providing “additional resources to help states take bold action to fund…public schools, support teachers, and prioritize learning.”

    Source: (Amy for America, accessed 1/24/20)

  • When unions are strong, our economy is strong. The Senator “has stood up for the right for all workers to join a union and to collectively bargain.” As president, her plan for workers and unions would include “undertaking a close review of laws regulating labor unions…rolling back so-called Right-to-Work laws… and consulting with our unions when developing regulations around…the future of work.”

    Source: (Medium, 9/29/19)

  • Supports investing in communities harmed by racism. The Senator admits that the country needs to acknowledge the atrocities of slavery and proposes investing in “those communities that have been so hurt by racism.” She does not believe reparations have to include “a direct pay for each person.”

    Source: (Vox, 6/19/19)

  • No plan for class size reduction. As a proponent of public schools, the Senator believes, “we…need to make sure all our children can get a great education.” She specifically references increasing teacher pay, but she does not mention any efforts to reduce class size.

    Source: (Amy for America Campaign Website, accessed 1/22/20)

  • Early childhood education is worth it. The Senator believes that “high-quality early care and education can improve child outcomes, ease the burden on public resources, and increase future productivity and growth of a child.” She supports a national universal pre-K program that would be free for low-income families.

    Source: (Sen. Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Senate Website, accessed 1/22/20; The Washington Post, accessed 1/24/20)

  • States commit, we commit. While not calling for free college for everyone, the Senator does support “free community college and a significantly expanded Pell Grant program.” To support college access and affordability, she proposes “a federal matching program that gives states a financial incentive to eliminate tuition at community colleges.” Her proposal would also commit “the federal government …[to] pay $3 for every $1 that a state invests in two-year degrees.”

    Source: (Politico, 10/25/19)

  • Disparities in pay costs. In pressing the need for equal pay, the Senator emphasizes that “lower wages for women impact them not only while they’re working but also through retirement” and that “pay equity is not just about salaries, but also about giving women equal opportunity to enter male-dominated jobs.”

    Source: (CNN, accessed 1/22/20)

  • Supports a public option. The Senator believes in “universal health care for all Americans,” and supports a public option that expands Medicare or Medicaid as the “quickest way to get there.” According to the Senator, “the Affordable Care Act is a beginning, not an end.” Her comprehensive plan to reduce health care costs includes bringing down “costs for consumers by expanding premium subsidies and providing cost-sharing reductions to lower out-of-pocket …costs like copays and deductibles.”

    Source: (Amy for America Website, accessed 1/24/20)

  • It’s time to raise the cap. The Senator calls for raising the Social Security payroll tax to income above $250,000. She also proposes “expanding benefits for widows and those who take time out of the work force to take care of children, aging, or sick family members.” According to the Senator, Social Security “must remain solvent for generations to come and she will [also] fight against risky schemes to privatize it.”

    Source: (CNBC , 1/14/20; Medium, 7/12/19)

  • Everybody pays their share. The Senator proposes to increase existing taxes on upper-income Americans. She believes a wealth tax “could work” and has signaled that she may be “open to it.” The Senator also supports expanding the earned income tax credit for working families. To help pay for national infrastructure improvements, strengthening Social Security, and free community college, she also includes increasing the capital gains tax rate and adjusting corporate tax rates in her plans.

    Source: (Politico, accessed 1/22/20; Kiplinger, accessed 1/24/20)

  • Supports charter school accountability. According to the Senator, “public schools are the mainstay of our education system…and if we do have charter schools…they have got to have high accountability standards.”

    Source: (Politico, accessed 1/22/20)

  • Pay is a first 100-day priority. The Senator includes increases for educator pay in her proposal for “Progress Partnerships.” Her plan would provide “matching federal funds to states that increase teacher pay.” She has stated that she plans to raise teacher pay as part of her first 100 days in office.

    Source: (Politico, accessed 1/22/20)

  • Opposes the expansion of vouchers. According to the Senator, she “will stand firmly with public schools and end discussions of Secretary DeVos’s $50 billion proposal to fund private school vouchers.”

    Source: (Amy for America Website, accessed 1/22/20)

  • Immediate action is necessary. The Senator has laid out a plan for her first 100 days that includes executive actions she can take to address gun violence without waiting for Congress. If elected, she has pledged to immediately close the “boyfriend loophole,” prevent people with severe mental illness from acquiring guns, and she will shut down discussions of federal funds being used to arm teachers.

    Source: (New York Times, 10/13/19)

  • She’s willing to commit. The Senator has proposed a $1 trillion infrastructure plan that includes resources to repair public schools. According to her plan, “Amy will fix our crumbling and unsafe schools, update the physical and digital infrastructure needs of our schools, and establish an ongoing role for the federal government to invest in school infrastructure.” She believes that “all students deserve a good learning environment, regardless of where they live.”

    Source: (Medium, 3/28/19)

  • Supports public service loan forgiveness. The Senator supports the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF). However, she is concerned that the program is not keeping its promise to thousands of student borrowers. According to the Senator, “PSLF was designed to encourage graduates to pursue careers like teaching, social work, or medicine in rural areas, and is also an important recruiting tool for rural employers.”

    Source: (Sen. Amy Klobuchar News Release, 9/10/19)

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I)
U.S. Senate, Vermont

About Bernie

  • Bernie Sanders has represented Vermont in the U.S. Senate since 2007.
  • Prior to his election to the Senate, Sanders served in the U.S. House of Representative and as Mayor of Burlington.

On the Issues

  • It’s time to reinvest in public education. According to the Senator, the country needs to “address the serious crisis in our education system.” He proposes a Thurgood Marshall Plan for Public Education that calls “for a transformative investment in our children, our teachers and our schools and a fundamental re-thinking of the unjust and inequitable funding of our public education system.” Elements of his plan include reducing racial and economic segregation, recruiting and retaining education professions, and policies that support a positive learning environment for students.

    Source: (Bernie 2020, accessed 1/22/20)

  • Supports equitable funding for public schools. The Senator is committed to funding public schools equitably. He recommends establishing a national per-pupil spending floor. In addition, he has pledged to triple Title I funding and provide $5 billion annually for career and technical education programs.

    Source: (Bernie 2020, accessed 1/22/20)

  • Supports a workplace of the workers, for the workers, and by the workers. His “Workplace Democracy Plan” includes a combination of proposed pro-worker legislation and executive orders. The Senator supports the right of all federal workers to strike, the end of Right-to-Work laws, and the protection and expansion of pensions for public and private employees. He challenges that “if we are serious about rebuilding the middle class in America, we have got to rebuild, strengthen and expand the trade union movement in America.”

    Source: (CNN, 8/22/19)

  • Now is the time to address structural racism. The Senator believes physical, political, legal, economic and environmental injustices must be addressed to ensure equal justice for black, brown, and indigenous Americans. Concerning reparations, he supports investing in affected communities versus “just writing out a check.”

    Source: (Bernie 2020, accessed 1/22/20; Vox, 3/1/19)

  • Supports small class sizes. In his Thurgood Marshall Plan for Public Education, the Senator calls for “resources needed to shrink class sizes.” He also has cosponsored legislation to reduce class size to 18 students for children in grades 1 to 3.

    Source: (Bernie 2020, accessed 1/24/20; Feel the Bern, accessed 1/22/20)

  • All children should have access to pre-kindergarten programs. As a longstanding supporter of pre-K programs, the Senator supports investing in universal access. He believes we need “a revolution… to guarantee…universal prekindergarten for every child in America.”

    Source: (Feel the Bern, accessed 1/22/20; The Washington Post, accessed 1/24/20)

  • Time to cancel student debt. According to the Senator, “we have failed a generation of our young people.” Correcting course requires passage of his College for All Act. This legislation would provide at least $48 billion per year to eliminate tuition and fees at four-year public colleges and universities, tribal colleges, community colleges, trade schools, and apprenticeship programs. The Senator believes, “everyone deserves the right to a good higher education if they choose to pursue it, no matter their income.”

    Source: (Bernie 2020, accessed 1/22/20)

  • Believes in ending wage discrimination. The Senator is a cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act and has included “pay equity for women” in his economic agenda. According to the Senator, “we need pay equity in our country.”

    Source: (Feel the Bern, accessed 1/22/20)

  • Access to healthcare is a human right. As the Senator stated, “he wrote the damn bill” for Medicare for All, and he strongly supports a “single-payer, national health insurance program to provide everyone in America with comprehensive health care coverage, free at the point of service.” The Senator believes it is time for the country to move away from networks, premiums, deductibles, copays, and surprise bills.

    Source: (The New York Times, 7/30/19; Bernie 2020, accessed on 1/22/20)

  • Retire with dignity. The Senator supports expanding Social Security benefits for all recipients and protecting every American’s pension. His comprehensive plan includes raising the cap for the Social Security payroll tax to incomes over $250,000. He also has pledged, “as president…to impose a moratorium on future pension cuts.” According to the Senator, every American should have the right to a secure retirement, the opportunity to age in place in the community, and have access to robust Medicare.

    Source: (Bernie 2020, accessed on 1/22/20)

  • Enough is enough. The Senator has proposed a new 21st Century Economic Bill of Rights. He is calling to raise the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 35 percent and wants to make statutory changes to prevent companies from using offshore tax havens.

    Source: (The Hill, 10/15/19)

  • Opposes charter school expansion. The Senator supports banning for-profit charter schools and has endorsed the NAACP’s call for a moratorium on public funds for charter school expansion. He agrees with the civil rights organization’s assessment to hold off on more charter schools until a national audit has been completed to determine their impact in each state. According to the Senator, the country does not need two school systems, “we simply need to invest in our public school system.”

    Source: (EdWeek, 11/18/19)

  • Supports pay increases for educators. The Senator has pledged to work with states to increase teacher pay and set a starting salary of no less than $60,000. In addition to increasing pay, he proposes to “triple the above-the-line tax deduction for educator expenses and index it to inflation to reimburse teachers for what they spend on out of pocket classroom expenses.” The Senator believes the country needs to “give teachers a much- deserved raise.”

    Source: (Bernie 2020, accessed 1/22/20)

  • Opposes vouchers. The Senator has expressed that he does not support using public money for private or religious education.

    Source: (The Washington Post, accessed 1/22/20)

  • Believes in ending the epidemic of gun violence. The Senator supports banning assault weapons, implementing universal background checks, and restricting high capacity magazines. He believes it is time “to take on the NRA and its corrupting effect on Washington.”

    Source: (Bernie 2020, accessed 1/22/20)

  • Students need equal access to a chance to succeed. The Senator’s “Thurgood Marshall Plan for Public Education,” includes proposals to triple Title I funds and invest “$5 billion on summer and after-school programs.” He also supports the “end of restraint and seclusion schools” and has pledged that he “would end federal incentives for ‘zero-tolerance’ school discipline policies.”

    Source: (Bernie 2020, 1/22/20)

  • It’s time for Wall Street to bail us out. The Senator believes that the federal government should and can forgive all existing student loan debt. In the meantime, he is a cosponsor of the What You Can Do for Your Country Act of 2019, legislation that would include educators in the expansion of “the pool of student loan borrowers who are eligible to have their debt canceled.”

    Source: (Politico, 6/24/19; CNBC, 4/11/19)

Tom Steyer (D)

About Tom

  • Tom Steyer is a billionaire and philanthropist who is running for his first political office.
  • He is the founder of the non-profit NextGen America.

On the Issues

  • Equal opportunity comes from equal access to quality education. The activist believes that every American “should have the right to a free, quality, public education from universal pre-K through higher education.” To support public schools, he proposes “increasing resources to close achievement gaps, improve school facilities, increase teacher pay, and ensure access to opportunities.”

    Source: (Tom 2020 Campaign Website, accessed 1/23/20)

  • We have to talk about money. The activist has served and led the board of the Opportunity Institute, a nonprofit that researches policy solutions to education inequities. He supports increasing education funding and ensuring that it is being spent equitably.

    Source: (The New York Times, 1/13/20)

  • He’s been with unions. The activist believes that unions need to be much stronger. Before becoming an activist and philanthropist, he admits to leaving his former employer, “who provided investments in companies that fought unions.”

    Source: (The New York Times, 1/13/20)

  • Supports a formal commission on race. The activist believes that the country needs solutions on race. He admits that “institutional racism, discriminatory government policies, and unequal treatment” of African Americans needs resolution. He also acknowledges these policies “have robbed generations…of families.” If elected president, he has pledged to discuss reparations and “direct more resources to monitor, investigate, and prosecute incidents of white supremacist violence as acts of domestic terrorism.”

    Source: (The New York Times, 1/13/20; Twitter, 8/15/19; Twitter, 8/20/19)

  • Supports reducing class sizes. The activist and billionaire has offered his support for educators “fighting for better schools.” He applauded the Los Angeles teachers strike, and he endorsed their fight for “smaller classes.”

    Source: (Facebook, 1/15/19)

  • The answer is YES. When asked, “Should the federal government fund and implement a national, free universal pre-K program?” he responded “yes,” and it should be “free for everyone.”

    Source: (The Washington Post, accessed 9/1/19)

  • Supports free tuition for students who need it most. According to the activist, community college should be free, and “middle- and low-income students should graduate from four-year college without debt.”

    Source: (The Washington Post, accessed 1/24/20)

  • Admits the country is far from real pay equity. In recognizing Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, the activist reflected “on how much work there is left to do.” He acknowledges that “we will not truly achieve equality until we close the gender and racial pay gaps.”

    Source: (Twitter, 8/22/19)

  • Healthcare is the foundation for a full and productive life. He believes that every American has the right to healthcare and that the cost of healthcare is too high. He plans to create a competitive public option to drive down costs, expand coverage, and deliver quality care to everyone.

    Source: (Tom 2020 Campaign Website, accessed 1/23/20)

  • We’re not a country that should be breaking promises. He believes that Social Security is a promise that America has made to our seniors, and that great countries do not break their major promises to their citizens. He has stated that “under all circumstances, my administration will live up to the promise to protect Social Security, including a raise to the income cap.”

    Source: (CNBC, 1/14/20)

  • Supports tax cuts that benefit the most households. His plan includes a working families tax package that will revitalize the middle class and provide a new economic vision. Families making under $250,000 and individuals making less than $200,000 would receive a 10% cut to their current tax rate.

    Source: (The Hill, 1/16/20)

  • Supports phasing out for-profit charter schools. He believes that charter schools should be required to meet the same performance standards as traditional public schools. He supports eliminating funding for all new for-profit charters and phasing them out responsibly.

    Source: (The Washington Post, accessed 1/23/20)

  • We need to respect educators. The activist believes that as a country, we pay teachers poorly, some places “incredibly poorly.” To increase compensation for educators, he supports the federal government subsidizing teacher pay.

    Source: (The New York Times, 1/13/20; The Washington Post, accessed 1/25/20)

  • He supports public education. According to the activist, “our government must protect the right to a free, quality, public education.” He has stated that “he does not support using public money for private or religious education.”

    Source: (Tom 2020 Campaign Website, accessed 1/25/20; The Washington Post, accessed 1/25/20)

  • We can end gun violence. As president, he “would declare gun violence a public health epidemic” and create a new Office of Gun Violence Prevention. The activist supports a voluntary buyback program, universal background checks, and a national firearm registry.

    Source: (Politico, accessed 1/23/20; Tom 2020 Campaign Website, accessed 1/25/20)

  • Innovation and equity go hand in hand. The activist believes that the innovation economy must include solutions for underrepresented students. He has stated that “we have to tackle this from cradle to career.” Since “science, technology, engineering and math — and I would add the arts, STEAM — are the fields at the core of our innovation economy,” he supports ensuring schools “in all ZIP codes…offer hands-on learning, like place-based environmental education, and….teach…skills like coding.”

    Source: (Tech Crunch, 9/20/19)

  • This changes on day one. The activist has publicly denounced the current handling of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, and he has stated that this will change on day one if he is elected president. He believes that the country needs to make “good on our promise to forgive debt for public service through an expansion of the public service loan forgiveness program.”

    Source: (Twitter, 1/13/2020; The Washington Post, accessed 1/25/20)

Pres. Donald Trump (R)
President, USA

About Donald

  • Donald Trump is the 45th and current president of the United States, his first political office.
  • He assumed office on January 20, 2017 and filed to run for re-election the same day.

On the Issues

  • Supports public money for private schools. His administration has proposed a federal voucher program of about $5 billion annually for the next ten years in tax credits that would fund scholarships to private schools. According to the president, “people want school choice,” and “as president, I am fighting every day for the forgotten American.”

    Source: (Education Week, 12/9/19)

  • Tries to cut education every year. The Trump Administration proposed another budget in FY 2020 that cuts education funding—this time by 10 percent, or more than $7 billion, while seeking more funding for its school choice agenda. Other school choice proposals can be found in other federal agency budgets, such as the federal voucher program for District of Columbia schools. The budget plan would eliminate 29 education grant programs, including the federal afterschool program ($1.2 billion), the new Title IV, Part A program authorized under the Every Student Succeeds Act ($1.2 billion), educator professional development, mentoring, and recruitment and retention ($2.1 billion), full-service community schools ($17.5 million), and a student aid program for needy students ($840 million).

    Source: (The 74, 3/11/19)

  • Opposes unions and the rights of workers. Publicly the president aligns himself with American workers, but supports “decreased labor protections, rolled back worker safety and weakened federal unions.” In celebrating the Janus decision, he tweeted “non-union workers are…able to support a candidate of his or her choice without having those who control the Union deciding for them.” A federal judge has blocked the Trump administration from undermining federal unions through three executive orders. In response, the administration has sought to challenge workers’ rights agency by agency. Rank-and-file Education Department employees have accused Secretary DeVos of gutting a long-standing labor agreement and enforcing a new pact that has been rejected by their union. DeVos has expressed her hostility toward teacher unions, calling them “defenders of the status quo” and apologists for a public education system she views as broken.

    Source: (The Washington Post, 7/9/19; Newsweek, 9/2/18; On Labor, 6/27/18; The Washington Post, 3/28/18)

  • Rescinded guidance aimed at reducing racial disparities in school discipline. The Trump administration rescinded guidance addressing racial disparities in how students are suspended, expelled, or otherwise punished. The guidance that was rescinded was not binding. It notified schools that they could be violating federal civil rights law if students of color were disciplined at higher rates than white students. In addition, the Trump administration is considering a rollback of civil rights law that would dilute federal rules against discrimination in education and housing.

    Source: (Donald J. Trump campaign website, accessed 1/23/20; The Washington Post, 1/3/19; The Washington Post, 12/21/18)

  • Tried to cut funds that would reduce class size. The president directed his administration to propose eliminating $2.1 billion in Title II funding, which provide resources for high-need districts to hire teachers to reduce large class sizes.

    Source: (Education Week, 12/17/19; Education Week, 3/11/19)

  • Offered zero for preschool programs. The president’s budget proposal did not include any funding for the Preschool Development Grants program. In addition, the Trump administration did not support any funding increases for Head Start or the Child Care and Development Block Grant.

    Source: (Education Week, 12/17/19)

  • He’s making for-profit colleges great again. In keeping his promise to reverse Obama-era policies, the president directed his Education Department to dismantle Obama-era regulations designed to crack down on for-profit colleges with a track record of misleading and predatory practices.

    Source: (Donald J. Trump campaign website, accessed 1/23/20; Inside Higher Ed, 11/1/19)

  • Halted EEOC efforts to collect pay data by race and gender from large companies. A federal judge ordered the Trump administration to reinstate an Obama-era rule that required companies to report data by race and gender that was designed to help close the wage gap. According to the President, pay disparities between men and women are difficult to address because “it’s very hard to say what is the same job.” He also offered that, “[if] you start to say everybody gets equal pay, you get away from the whole American Dream… and if everyone gets the same…you’re into a socialistic society.”

    Source: (Donald J. Trump campaign website, accessed 1/23/20; Time, 4/2/19; The Washington Post, 3/5/19)

  • Promises, promises. The president’s plan to lower the cost of prescription drugs has stalled, and a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act remains in limbo even as his administration seeks to strike down the law in federal court. Although he claims that he has saved coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, his Justice Department has argued for the invalidation of that provision in the current litigation.

    Source: (The Wall Street Journal, 1/21/20; The Washington Post, 12/11/19)

  • Anything is possible with a second term. The president claims that making changes to entitlement spending is “the easiest of all things.” As a candidate in 2016, he promised not to cut Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security. However, as president, his budget requests routinely call for cuts to Medicaid and Social Security disability programs.

    Source: (The Washington Post, 1/22/20; The New York Times, 1/22/20)

  • Proposes another tax cut to benefit the wealthy. The president considered a highly regressive plan to cut taxes by indexing capital gains to inflation. In a move that would largely benefit the wealthy, the president could use an executive order to bypass Congress and deliver another tax cut for the “top 0.1.” Reports indicate that the president is holding off for now concerned that to do so would appear “elitist.” However, his administration plans to revisit tax cuts in a second term.

    Source: (The Washington Post, 1/22/20; CNBC, 9/11/19; The Washington Post, 6/28/19; Bloomberg, 6/27/19)

  • School choice is a priority. The president’s spending on federal charter school grants has increased by more than 30 percent since he first took office. In his current budget proposal, the president recommends a $60 million increase for charter schools to $500 million. He also has proposed to increase the amount of Title I funds states can set aside to support public school choice.

    Source: (Donald J. Trump campaign website, accessed 1/22/20; ThinkProgress, 3/11/19; The 74 Million, 3/11/19)

  • Talk is cheap. Despite “admiring” teachers, the president has proposed eliminating $2.1 billion in federal funding for educators. He prefers to support small and competitive programs that increase compensation for teachers in STEM fields and provide stipends for teachers to select their own training options.

    Source: (Politico, 4/29/19; The Atlantic, 3/11/19; The 74, 3/11/19)

  • Vouchers are a hallmark of his administration. The president’s school choice agenda includes proposing a federal voucher program of $5 billion per year, or $50 billion over ten years. He has also proposed $250 million to promote private school choice through the Education Innovation and Research program. President Trump describes vouchers as “a shot at achieving the American Dream!”

    Source: (Donald J. Trump campaign website, accessed 1/22/20; AP 4/24/19)

  • He banned bump stocks. The Trump administration issued an official rule banning bump stocks but has taken no action on background checks or assault weapons. To reduce gun violence in schools, the president has floated a proposal to pay teachers bonuses for carrying weapons. The president did sign into law the STOP School Violence Act and has requested more than double in funding for school safety measures.

    Source: (Donald J. Trump campaign website, accessed 1/22/20; ABC News, 8/5/19; Education Week, 3/11/19)

  • Here today and gone tomorrow. The president and Congressional Democratic leaders briefly reached an infrastructure agreement. A feature of the $2 trillion plan included expanding broadband systems. Republicans swiftly resisted the tentative deal for its “hefty price tag,” and talks stalled despite the president tweeting that it was “badly needed!”

    Source: (The Washington Post, 5/4/19)

  • Opposes public service loan forgiveness. In each of his budget requests since his election, the president has called for eliminating the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

    Source: (GAO report, 9/5/19; Forbes, 3/12/19)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D)
U.S. Senate, Massachusetts

About Elizabeth

  • Elizabeth Warren has represented Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate since 2012.
  • Prior to her election, she served as Special Assistant to President Barack Obama for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

On the Issues

  • Experience required. The Senator has promised that the next Secretary of Education will have experience as a “public school teacher, believes in public education, and will listen to our public school teachers, parents, and students.” She believes this perspective is essential to ensuring that the country will “live up to the promise of a high-quality public education for every student.”

    Source: (Brookings Institute, 10/22/19)

  • Fund schools adequately and equitably. The Senator believes that the root problem of public education is the underfunding of the system. Her plan includes quadrupling Title I funds for schools and providing the federal government’s original 40% funding promise by committing an additional $20 billion per year to fully fund IDEA.

    Source: (Warren for President Campaign Website, accessed 1/23/20)

  • Workers need more power. The Senator believes “we cannot have a truly democratic society with so little power in the hands of working people.” Her agenda includes “five broad goals: extending labor rights to all workers; strengthening organizing, collective bargaining, and the right to strike; raising wages and protecting pensions; increasing worker choice and control; and expanding worker protections, combating discrimination, and improvement enforcement.”

    Source: (Warren for President Campaign Website, accessed 1/23/20)

  • We need to get serious about prosecuting hate crimes. According to the Senator, hate crimes are “intended to create fear… motivated by hate and bias. And they are incompatible with our values and have no place in American life.” If elected president, she plans to empower the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to “standardize prosecutions…address white nationalism in the military…and keep guns away from those at risk of violence.”

    Source: (Warren for President Campaign Website, accessed 1/24/20)

  • Supports prioritizing resources for class size reduction. The Senator acknowledges that “educators have taken matters into their own hands,” and supports the “#RedforED movement…to increase funding to reduce class sizes and improve…schools.” As a Senator, she also cosponsors the Smaller Class Sizes for Students and Educators Act, which “prioritizes funding for high-poverty school districts to reduce class size.”

    Source: (Warren for President Campaign Website, accessed 1/23/20)

  • Believes in universal access to pre-k. The Senator supports a “comprehensive early childhood education system.” Under her Universal Childcare and Early Learning Plan, she provides millions of children access to free high-quality pre-K programs.

    Source: (Warren for President Campaign Website, accessed 1/23/20)

  • She’s done with student loan debt. According to the Senator, “it’s time to clean up the mess.” She finds that most of the debt accumulated by 42 million Americans “should never have been required in the first place.” By canceling up to $50,000 of their student loan debt, the country would also benefit from “an enormous middle-class stimulus that will boost economic growth, increase home purchases, and fuel a new wave of small business formation.”

    Source: (Warren for President Campaign Website, accessed 1/23/20)

  • Leveling the playing field is critical, particularly for women of color. According to the Senator, “while millions of families count on Latinas and black women to deliver financially, they face a steeper climb to provide that financial security due to bias and discrimination.” Under her plan to close wage gaps, “as president she would deny federal contracts to companies with a poor track record of diversity and equal pay, implement a minimum wage salary of $15 an hour …[and] ban companies from asking applicants about their salary and criminal histories.”

    Source: (CNBC, 7/10/19)

  • Supports easing into Medicare for All. The Senator believes in Medicare for All, but she prefers giving the country an opportunity to transition. She supports “a three-year implementation period where Americans could keep their existing coverage or try out Medicare for All.” According to the Senator, “when people have a chance to try it…America is going to say, ‘We like Medicare for All.’”

    Source: (Bloomberg 12/17/19)

  • Her plan increases benefits. The Senator proposes to increase Social Security benefits immediately by $200 a month, providing an additional $2,400 a year for recipients. As president, she has pledged to also update outdated rules to further increase benefits for lower-income families, people with disabilities, public-sector workers, and people of color. According to the Senator, “millions of families have had to sacrifice saving for retirement just to make ends meet. At the same time, fewer people have access to the kind of pensions that used to help fund a comfortable retirement.”

    Source: (Warren for President, accessed 1/23/20)

  • The top? They’re getting taxed. The Senator has proposed an Ultra-Millionaire Tax that could provide the country more than $3 trillion in revenue over ten years. The tax applies to households with a net worth of $50 million or more, and they would pay an annual 2% tax on every dollar of net worth above $50 million and a 6% tax on every dollar of net worth above $1 billion. According to the Senator, increasing income taxes will not help, “we need a tax on wealth.”

    Source: (Warren for President, accessed 1/25/20)

  • We need to focus on public schools. The Senator opposes any efforts to provide federal funds for charter school expansion. For existing charter schools, she believes that they should be subject to the same levels of transparency and accountability as traditional public schools. She also supports a ban on for-profit charter schools. According to the Senator, “I believe in America’s public schools.”

    Source: (Education Week, 11/18/19; Warren for President, accessed 1/25/20)

  • Supports increasing pay for educators. The Senator believes that the federal government should subsidize teacher pay where resources are scarce. By quadrupling Title I funding, she believes that this will help incentivize states to increase “teacher pay with the goal of closing the educator pay gap and also paying paraprofessionals and other education support professionals a living wage.”

    Source: (The Washington Post, accessed 9/2/19; Warren for President Campaign Website, accessed 10/24/19)

  • Opposes vouchers. When asked on a candidate questionnaire, “Do you support using public money in the form of vouchers or tax credits for private or religious school education,” the candidate responded, “no.” The Senator believes, “we have a responsibility to provide great neighborhood schools for every student,” and “we should stop the diversion of public dollars from traditional public schools through vouchers or tuition tax credits.”

    Source: (The Washington Post, accessed 9/2/19; Warren for President Campaign Website, accessed 10/24/19)

  • She’s had enough. Stating that “enough is enough,” the Senator proposes a plan that would reduce gun deaths 80% by “rein[ing] in an out-of-control gun industry.” She believes that “no teacher should be armed – period.”

    Source: (Medium, 8/10/19; Warren for President Campaign Website, accessed 10/24/19)

  • Students need additional supports for their success. In preparing students for the jobs of tomorrow, the Senator does not what to neglect what they are facing today. She supports community schools, more resources for meal programs, and expanded access to mental health services. She has called for dismantling “the school-to-prison pipeline,” supporting “implicit bias training to reduce suspensions and expulsions,” and incentivizing the use of more “trauma-informed alternative discipline practices.”

    Source: (Warren for President Campaign Website, accessed 10/24/19; Medium, 8/20/19)

  • We owe public servants gratitude not debt. The Senator has taken her debt forgiveness plan to Congress, proposing legislation that would cancel student loan debt for 42 million Americans. She also recognizes that “student loan debt hits America’s teachers particularly hard,” and continues to push Senators to support overhaul and simplification of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. According to the Senator, “the Federal Government promised dedicated public servants they would not be saddled by decades of crushing student debt, and it is past time we fulfill that promise.”

    Source: (Forbes, 6/17/19; The New York Times, 7/24/19; Sen. Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Senate, 4/15/19)

Bill Weld (R)

About Bill

  • Bill Weld served as Governor of Massachusetts from 1991 to 1997 and ran as Vice President on the Libertarian ticket in 2016.
  • Prior to his election as Governor, Weld served as Assistant Attorney General under President Ronald Reagan.

On the Issues

  • Public education should serve parents, not the other way around. The former governor supports higher standards and accountability, competition among schools, and parental choice. He believes that “elementary and secondary education is primarily a matter for states and localities and accordingly, federal intervention should be minimal.” He has also supported abolishing the U.S. Department of Education.

    Source: (Weld 2020 campaign website, accessed 1/24/20; On the Issues, accessed 1/24/20)

  • Nobody said equal was easy. As Governor of Massachusetts, he made a “grand bargain” with the Democratic leadership of the state legislature. Their deal secured an additional $7 billion in state funding for local education to equalize spending across districts in exchange for increased accountability.

    Source: (Weld 2020 campaign website, accessed 1/24/20)

  • Opposes minimum wage increases. The former governor vetoed minimum wage increases multiple times. Although he still favors “non-governmental approaches to raising wages,” he has admitted to voters that the current federal minimum wage “is too low.”

    Source: (SEIU 2020, accessed 1/24/20)

  • Opposes discrimination in public schools. The former governor signed legislation that provided protection and support for gay students. The initiative also included educator training in preventing harassment. He believes that “the concept of schools as safe havens must apply to all students, including gay and lesbian students.” As governor, he also viewed unequal funding of school districts in wealthy suburbs compared to inner-city districts with largely black and Hispanic populations as “unacceptable” and one that “raises a substantial question of economic and racial equality.”

    Source: (Weld 2020 campaign website, accessed 1/24/20; Education Week, 2/15/19; The New York Times, 7/4/1993)

  • Supports smaller government instead. The former Massachusetts governor “favors shrinking the government overall, including eliminating the Education Department.” He stresses that “federal intervention should be minimal.” He has not expressed an interest in reducing class sizes.

    Source: (Weld 2020 campaign website, accessed 1/24/20; The Washington Post, 2/15/19)

  • Families should pay for pre-K. Although the former governor acknowledges the benefits of preschool and pre-kindergarten programs, he does not support the federal government investing in early childhood education. He views the financial commitment of universal access to pre-K as “simply staggering.”

    Source: (Fordham Institute, 6/7/16)

  • Supports federal funding to educate displaced workers. According to the former governor, a “legitimate national emergency” is brewing from displaced workers being left behind by “rapid technological changes in the economy.” He believes community colleges play a critical role in transitioning workers to new jobs and supports free tuition for displaced workers, including expanding access to online courses.

    Source: (Weld 2020 campaign website, accessed 1/24/20)

  • The candidate has not provided any public statements addressing or referencing fair pay.

  • Supports improving the Affordable Care Act. The former governor of Massachusetts has proposed requiring transparency in prices and eliminating regulations that reduce competition among insurers and perversely incentivize insurers to narrow their coverage networks. He would drop regulations that eliminate low-cost health insurance plans – even if there is a corresponding trade-off in coverage. The former governor observes, “Some people simply want to pay less, and there’s nothing wrong with that.” He also supports health savings accounts and allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices.

    Source: (Weld 2020 campaign website, accessed 1/24/20)

  • No specifics on Social Security. Once ranked “the most fiscally conservative governor,” he admits that “Millennials are smart enough to know they’re never going to see Social Security if we keep running a $1 trillion deficit.” Although he offers no specifics on how he would address Social Security, other than to tackle the nation’s debt to ensure its longevity, the wealthy former governor says, “I don’t propose to abolish Social Security, I just started receiving it!” He also has joked “that his ancestors weren’t on the Mayflower because they sent their servants over first to get the summer cottage ready.”

    Source: (The Dartmouth, 10/17/19; On the Issues, accessed 1/25/20; The Bulwark, 2/14/19)

  • A tax cutter to the core. According to the former governor, “There is no such thing as government money; there is only taxpayers’ money. That was my motto in my two terms in office, when I cut taxes twenty-one times and never raised them.” The former governor supports a flat tax and would eliminate the corporate income tax. To offset budget deficits related to less revenue, he would cut spending.

    Source: (Weld 2020 campaign website, accessed 1/24/20)

  • Backs charter schools and school choice. The former governor strongly backs charter schools, but his record does include closing those that failed to perform. In addition to supporting charter schools, his education reforms also include private school vouchers and homeschooling options. According to him, “competition among schools…and parental choice…count.”

    Source: (Weld 2020 campaign website, accessed 1/24/20)

  • The candidate has not provided any public statements addressing or referencing educator compensation.

  • Supports vouchers. He supports public school vouchers for families “stuck in woefully underperforming inner-city schools.” As governor, he proposed a plan that would “expand voucher use to private schools.” He believes that “we’ve got to give vouchers a chance. There is something to this.”

    Source: (Weld 2020 campaign website, accessed 1/24/20; Forbes, 5/30/16)

  • No longer supports gun control. According to the former governor, “the 2nd Amendment means what it says.” He questions the practicality of universal background checks, and he does not believe in empowering the government to disarm the population. He does support red flag laws, if done correctly. The former governor previously supported banning assault weapons and preventing gun sales to anyone under 21, but he has updated his position, stating “restricting gun rights doesn’t make us safer, and threatens our constitutional freedoms.”

    Source: (Weld 2020 campaign website, accessed 1/24/20; The Tennessee Star, 4/18/19; Reason, 5/21/16)

  • Supports online education and religious freedom in education. The former governor believes that more consideration should be given to online education. “We can make it possible for people to acquire…skills, and recent research has shown that online education is just as sticky as the little red schoolhouse, the social learning that we all grew up with.” He also believes the right of parents to opt out of programs that run counter to their religious values is a vital American liberty and a constitutional right under the First Amendment.

    Source: (Weld 2020 campaign website, accessed 1/24/20; The Hill, 5/13/19)

  • Supports public service loan forgiveness. The former Massachusetts governor would expand public service loan forgiveness, either deferring or reducing student loan payment obligations for those who teach in public schools for up to five years after graduation.

    Source: (Weld 2020 campaign website, accessed 1/24/20)

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