We need to help our students in college with their loans. . We need to have a "work for America" program that provides a specific amount of loan forgiveness for a certain time period of work for teaching, social work, child care, geriatric care, and case work for the handicapped or other social work or community service projects such as park maintenance or recreation area clean up and maintenance while teaching job skills to the unemployed.
Cap higher education tuition. Make it affordable again. Better yet, free. If France can do it, so can we. Banks are making a fortune off of student loans and I suspect encouraging higher ed. institutions to raise their tuition rates to boost student loan lending. Allow student loans to be discharged if an individual cannot make a living in their chosen career. Disallow lenders to seize social security payments to pay off their loans. Create more ways for loans to be forgiven.
Pre-school, being essential, is every child's right, not to be reserved for those whose parents are well paid. Universal public pre-school would be an economic boon, saving untold wasted resources now being lost. People who have been failed by their own culture, are now costing us in poor outcomes like unemployment, drug epidemics, and pointless imprisonment. Education saves lives as well as saving money.
If not Free, than at least Affordable Education. Education is an investment in our future, our country's future, our children's future. It should not cost a fortune and should be accessible to all. For example, the Cal. UC system just announced raising tuition AGAIN. All the tuition money only goes to overpaid Administrators whose salaries are constantly going up instead of toward the actual education of the students.
No one should graduate from high school without learning basic life skills, such as: driving a car, fixing a flat, balancing a checkbook, swimming well enough, to fall in and not drown, cooking basic meals and food shopping, writing up a simple sales or employment contract, basic first aid and death prevention skills, such as "the heimlich maneuver" or "applying direct pressure to a bleeding wound", filling out a resume and job application skills, not to mention reading and writing levels!
Dramatic reductions in federal & state funding of public colleges & universities over the past 15 years have 1) caused large tuition price increases & 2) driven these public institutions to the private sector for funding, making academia beholding to corporations & their interests & views, corrupting education itself. Set federal & state budgets for public education at every level based as a percentage of GDP so that it is free or at least 75% subsidized. Loans, if necessary, at rate banks get.
Declare a one-time forgiveness of college loan debt just like we did to bailout the big banks and GM. However legislation needs to be passed for 0% loans in the future for students who graduate. In addition, develop some program(s) for those with forgiven debt to provide community or equivalent service as a partial re-payment for eliminating the college loan debt.
Expand on the extended day programs for middle & high school students. Why? Many kids do not have a quiet place at home to do work; many need help starting the assignment, teachers can help kids to understand what the assignment is asking for, group projects can be done, and many middle school students are on their own from 2:30-3pm until 5,6 or 7pm & need to be somewhere safe.
In K4 through 3rd grade, have a certified teacher and an aide with no more than 12 students, not an average of 12 students. Only the best teachers should be at this level. If this would happen there would truly be no child left behind because the teachers would have time to assess each child. Having taught at the primary and middle school level for 30 years, I know this would work. Forget all the high priced programs.
FREE higher education tuition to any graduating senior who completes approved community services each semester they are enrolled, as long as they make adequate academic progress. This would include those who want to attend Technology Centers or other specialized approved training. This would free parents from financial burdens and allow all youth who have the initiative, grades, and commitment to community service that opportunity. Other countries do this and it costs each citizen about 5%.