Education Polichy

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Education Policy

Education Policy

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  • 1. AS THE CHILD OF IMMIGRANTS, Leland knows firsthand the transformative power that a quality education can have to open opportunities and expand horizons for students, their parents, and their communities. As a Cambridge City Councillor, Leland works every day to ensure that every child in Cambridge has access to a high-quality education. He has a proven track record of making key investments to ensure student success – a legacy he will continue as Lieutenant Governor. Leland’s education plan for Massachusetts focuses on improving the quality, accessibility and affordability of educational programs for students of all ages and walks of life, from implementing universal pre-k to developing workforce training programs.
  • 2. UNIVERSAL PRE-K: THE FACTS Time and time again, research has shown that children who participate in a high quality pre-kindergarten program are placed on an early track for success, demonstrating significantly stronger academic and social tendencies later in life. • Higher incomes • More stable home lives • More law-abiding • Stronger academic performance • Lower arrest rates Early childhood education empowers parents to provide more stable foundations for their children as well, providing the support to retain a job and provide for their family. Ultimately, providing our children with early childhood education pays off. For every $1 we invest in our children, we receive a return of $4-$9 later, from reduced costs associated with crime, welfare and special education and increased income taxes. Despite these benefits, in Massachusetts only 60.3 percent of preschool- aged children are enrolled in a formal early education program.
  • 3. As a Cambridge City Councillor, Leland has developed a proven track record as an advocate for universal pre-k and other programs that benefit our youngsters. • Leland refused to rubber stamp the Cambridge Public School’s budget as usual, instead calling on the Superintendent to develop a comprehensive plan for universal J-K and Pre-k. • Leland has developed thoughtful approaches to funding, siting and implementing universal pre-k in Cambridge. As a local policymaker, he understands the challenges that communities across the Commonwealth face and can find innovative solutions to meet them. UNIVERSAL PRE-K: LELAND’S RECORD
  • 4. UNIVERSAL PRE-K: LELAND’S PROMISE Leland believes that pre-kindergarten programs shouldn’t be a luxury to a few, but accessible and affordable for all families in Massachusetts. As a municipal official, Leland recognizes that every community has its own challenges, and that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. To expand pre-k programs across the Commonwealth and eliminate waiting lists, Leland supports innovative hybrid programs that develop partnerships amongst existing public school districts, federally-funded Head Start programs, and private facilities. Communities can opt to invest early education revenues in public school facilities or instead contract with existing Head Start or private programs.
  • 5. IMPROVING PUBLIC EDUCATION: THE FACTS Although Massachusetts has long led the nation in education, we can and must do more to make sure every student has the opportunity to achieve their full potential. • Massachusetts hasn’t narrowed persistent achievement gaps between white and minority students. On the MCAS, white students are twice as likely to achieve proficiency in Math and Science than their Hispanic / African American classmates. Achievement gaps also persist in Advanced Placement class enrollment and, for Hispanic students, college attendance. • According to Massachusetts employers, there is a critical knowledge gap and skills gap between what graduates of Massachusetts public schools have learned and what the economy demands. • Although the world around us is rapidly changing and adapting to new technologies, many of our school buildings and infrastructure is not. We must make sure that all schools are equipped with up-to-date technologies so that our students can remain competitive in an increasingly global economy.
  • 6. IMPROVING PUBLIC EDUCATION: LELAND’S RECORD As a Cambridge City Councillor, Leland has worked tirelessly to strengthen the quality of public education in Cambridge, fighting for expanded wraparound services, additional teacher training and an Office of College Success. He voted in favor of new infrastructure that provides all of Cambridge’s students with access to state-of-the-art technologies, and developed a program to bring broadband internet to students in Cambridge Public Housing. In his role as an Executive Committee member of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, Leland is part of the team charged with expanding broadband access to schools, libraries, and other public buildings in underserved communities across the state.
  • 7. IMPROVING PUBLIC EDUCATION: LELAND’S PROMISE Leland deeply believes that the primary responsibility of society is to educate the next generation, and that every child should have access to a high quality public pre-K-12 education. We must ensure that we provide adequate funding to school districts so that teachers and students have the resources they need to excel. Leland supports empowering teachers to implement innovative teaching practices so students succeed in and out of the classroom, and other programs including: • Expanded focus on STEAM education to prepare graduates for the economy we will build for the future; • Parental liaisons in schools to ensure all parents are engaged and involved in their child’s education; • Public-private partnerships with vocational / technology schools and community colleges to train all students about their future fields; and • Increased improvement of public education infrastructure.
  • 8. IMPROVING PUBLIC EDUCATION: LELAND’S PROMISE As a parent himself, Leland understands the desire every parent feels for the opportunity and choice to send their kids to a high-performing, high-results school. Leland believes that any discussion about charter schools and caps in underserved communities must address issues so far unaddressed: • When charter schools were introduced, they promised to be test beds and innovation laboratories to develop new techniques that could improve public schools and allow all students to benefit, not just those who win the lottery; that hasn’t happened. • As the only candidate who’s served in local government for the past five years, Leland understands that the funding mechanism needs to be revisited so we’re not pulling resources out of the same public systems we’re trying to improve. • Leland is outcomes focused. Any conversation that begins about Charter Schools is missing the broader picture. The primary goal is ensuring every child receives a quality eduction; how our system is structured detracts from that goal.
  • 9. HIGHER EDUCATION: THE FACTS Since 2001, public higher education funding has seen a decline of 25 percent in real dollars ($366.1 million). In response, public higher education institutions have been forced to increase tuition, reduce course offerings and student support services, and rely increasingly on adjunct faculty. While the cost of educating a student in a public institution of higher education in Massachusetts is approximately $49,000, that public graduate will contribute a net of more than $98,000 to the state after college. Increased tuition and other education costs create a barrier for many students to attend college, especially low income students, and often result in high debts for years after graduation.
  • 10. HIGHER EDUCATION: LELAND’S RECORD As the first currently-enrolled student to be elected to the Cambridge City Council, Leland has developed a strong record advocating on behalf of college students in Cambridge and across the Commonwealth. Leland has fought to increase campus safety, educate students about their voting rights and rights as tenants, and advocated on behalf of increased on-campus housing for students to ensure nobody is left out in the cold. Leland has gone on record opposing increases to student loan interest rates, and has called on Congress to lower student loan interest rates to keep students in the best possible position to transition into a successful future. Leland worked to develop partnerships amongst local universities and surrounding businesses to aide graduates in their quest to obtain stable employment after graduating.
  • 11. HIGHER EDUCATION: LELAND’S PROMISE Leland will call for increased funding to all of Massachusetts’ public higher education institutions so that they can maintain a high standard of excellence in academics, student life, and infrastructure maintenance. Leland will work to develop robust partnerships between industries and institutions, including local business partners, to develop training programs and job placement programs for students attending public universities. We must make sure all students have the training and support they need to stay in Massachusetts and fill local jobs. Leland will work to expand state grant programs to low-income students to ensure that no deserving student is forced to abandon a college education due to prohibitive costs. He will work with the Attorney General and federal delegation to connect students with responsible financial aid. We must ensure that all students clearly understand the financial aid program that they are entering and that they are aware of the different options that exist for them.
  • 12. WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT: LELAND’S PROMISE The Commonwealth of Massachusetts isn’t experiencing as much economic development as it could be due to the massive skills gap that leaves many employers without the trained workers they need to fill desks at their companies. We must be cognizant that essential training doesn’t end when an individual graduates and begins their career. As our economy changes and evolves, it is imperative that we ensure that all of our workers have the tools they need to keep up with it. Not all of this training is provided by the public sector, but it is our duty to ensure that any individual has the option to continue their education and learn new skills if they have the drive to do so. Leland will work to develop robust partnerships between public schools, non-profit institutions, labor-management apprenticeship programs, vocational programs, community colleges, and specialized training programs to make sure that we are teaching our workers the skills they need for jobs available now and the jobs of the future. On the Cambridge City Council, Leland worked to find ways that the Cambridge Works program might affiliate itself with the Boston Building Pathways program to train our workforce to enter building apprenticeship programs.