Warren unveils education plan quadrupling federal funding for public schools

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a leading Democratic presidential candidate, is proposing a plan to quadruple federal funding for public schools with incentives for states to fund poor and rich schools more equally. 

Warren has often campaigned off her personal history as a public school teacher and the importance of reforming the system. Her education plan released Monday comes after much of the primary field has already released such proposals. 

Warren’s plan would quadruple Title I funding — equivalent to an additional $450 billion — over the next 10 years for pre-K-12 public schools. {mosads}

Warren also plans to invest an additional $100 billion over ten years in “excellence grants” to public schools, and an additional $50 billion in repairing and upgrading school buildings. 

In an effort to incentivize states to fund schools more equally, the new Title I funding would be conditioned on states “chipping in more funding and adopting and implementing more progressive funding formulas, so that more resources go to the schools and students that really need them.”

The plan is financed by Warren’s signature wealth tax on net incomes over $50 million, as are many of her plans.  

Warren also calls for a ban on for-profit charter schools, a move fellow progressive candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called for in May when he released his education plan. 

In addition to a ban on for-profit charter schools, Warren calls for existing charter schools to be subject to “at least the same level of transparency and accountability as traditional public schools.” She also pushes for ending federal funding for the expansion of charter schools.

In addition, Warren pledged to revive the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, as part of an effort to fight segregation and discrimination in public schools. The plan draws on Warren’s housing plan, which eliminates certain restrictive zoning laws to make it easier to build affordable housing in areas with better schools. 

Warren’s plan calls as well for schools to provide free meals to students and eliminate student breakfast and lunch debt. 

She also pushes for increasing teacher pay. 

Warren said her plan to increase Title I funding “incentivizes states to shift their funding formulas to better support students,” including by increasing teacher pay. She said the increased funding would limit teachers from paying out of pocket for certain classroom resources. 

In addition to increased pay, Warren’s plan focuses on giving teachers more bargaining power, canceling student debt for teachers and funding professional development.

Tags 2020 Democratic primary Bernie Sanders Charter school Elizabeth Warren Joe Biden Title I

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