Educating our children is a value we all share. A recent survey conducted across our Congressional district found that “Our children receiving a first class education” is the number 1 priority, across all demographics and political party lines – more important than jobs, the economy, infrastructure and healthcare.
Unfortunately, education often is one of the first cuts government makes to “balance the budget.” Once funds are removed, good teachers laid off and courses eliminated, it takes years to recover. Our children’s ability to develop skills they need to function in the job market may be lost. We see the negative impacts in drug addiction, higher youth incarceration, joblessness and homeless young adults.
We must invest in our children from pre-school through post high school education to provide the resources that will motivate them to succeed as adults. Education also must include training for the jobs we have now, and will have tomorrow. We must ensure that jobs do not go unfilled because of the lack of skilled workers. Educational opportunity must be available to all children in our country, not just those in favored neighborhoods or schools. Education must be affordable, not a product sold for profit with little value in the job market.
I believe first class public education, once a hallmark of our nation, is one of the most important things we do to advance our security and wellbeing for the future.