Pete Buttigieg speaks in Mount Vernon, releases plan to improve public education system

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Buttigieg hopes to ensure children across the U.S. have access to health care with his new plan.

Pete Buttigieg

Democratic presidential candidate South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks during the Iowa Farmers Union Presidential Forum, Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, in Grinnell, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

MOUNT VERNON, IA — Today, Pete Buttigieg released his plan to ensure every child has access to quality, affordable education that will provide them the opportunity to succeed.

Pete’s plan will build an equitable K-12 public education system, provide universal child care and pre-K, and make sure America’s teachers not only reflect the diversity of our country, but are paid fairly for the critical work they do.

Pete will be discussed the plan in further detail at Cornell College in Mount Vernon today. 

By tripling funding for Title I schools and teachers, Pete’s plan will narrow opportunity gaps between districts in high-income and low-income areas. It will also double the proportion of new teachers and school leaders who are people of color in the next 10 years.

His plan will eliminate the wage gap for Title I teachers and create over 1 million new, good-paying child development jobs. 

“Too often, access to education is predicted by income or zip code. And success can be determined before a child even sets foot in a classroom,” said Buttigieg. “Every child in America should have access to high quality education, and we need to support our nation’s teachers for the work they do within and outside the classroom. If we honored our teachers a little more like soldiers and paid them a little more like doctors, this country would be a better place.”

To ensure that every child has access to a quality education and support our nation’s teaching workforce, Pete’s plan will:

  • Provide affordable, universal full-day child care and pre-K for all children, from infancy to age 5, serving more than 20 million children, with a landmark $700 billion investment. Child care in Iowa costs $9,485 for infants. $9,485 is almost 40% of the median income for a single-parent family.
  • Triple funding for Title I schools to invest in a truly equitable public education system, no matter a child’s zip code, race, or background. 336 school districts in Iowa receive Title 1 funding.
  • Establish the Education Access Corps to prepare and retain future educators to teach in Title I schools.
  • Ban for-profit charter schools and ensure equal accountability for public charter schools. 
  • Support strong unions for educators and staff and raise wages for early childhood educators. 
  • Reinstate Obama-era guidance to address discipline disparities in early education as well as K-12, and invest in successful district-level solutions that reduce the use of exclusionary discipline that targets Black and Latino students.
  • Expand mental health services in schools for students and teachers.
  • Expand access to outside of the classroom K-12 and summer learning opportunities to bridge opportunity gaps and support working parents.
  • Expand access to safe school transportation for K-12 students in rural areas by partnering with states and the Department of Transportation to make targeted investments.

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