As a product of the public school system, Agatha is a strong believer that education is the great equalizer and that educating all people no matter their race, zip code, or ability to pay, is a pillar of a strong democracy.
The fact that high schools have hardly changed in the past 100 years tells us our education system is long overdue for disruption. Agatha supports increasing the wages of school teachers, and investing in our public schools as well as canceling student debt, making tuition free for all public colleges and trade schools.
According to the OECD, the U.S. ranks 36th in math, 23rd in science, and 18th in reading compared to other countries worldwide. Most high schools don’t offer physics or calculus and have more sworn law enforcement officers than counselors or social workers. Our goal as a society must be to ensure American students are entering schools competitive on a global scale. This means providing free, universal Pre-K, continuing through high school with free school meals and better nutrition.
The U.S. may be the only country in the world where the topics of education and gun safety are linked, especially in the minds of students. Agatha believes the quickest route to keeping our schools safe is by passing common sense gun safety legislation that keeps guns out of the hands of unstable individuals, requires universal background checks, and bans assault weapons.
According to Redfin, 83% of California’s homes and 100% of San Francisco’s homes are unaffordable on a teacher’s salary. It is unacceptable that our public school teachers, one of the most important roles in our society, work full time jobs and are not able to afford housing1. We must do more to recruit, prepare, and support world-class teachers by dramatically increasing teacher salaries and building top-tier teaching academies.
People must be able to attend public colleges and trade schools regardless of their economic background. It is absurd that in a country with one of the highest GDPs per capita2, the soaring cost of higher education has resulted in $1.5 trillion in outstanding student debt held by 44 million Americans. The average millennial in California will take so long to pay off their student debt, they won’t be able to do so until their own children graduate from college.
In our increasingly borderless and digitally connected world, the global competition for talent will determine who leads what experts are calling the Fourth Industrial Revolution. America’s investment in education now will determine whether the coming decade marks the end of the American century, or a new era of global leadership.