Both of my parents were teachers in the public schools and members of their available unions. I grew up hearing of the challenges and rewards of the teaching profession. My four children all attended public schools through high school. Overwhelmingly the public schools do a good job despite the underfunding and unproductive, top-down edicts from the legislature. We need to better support our teachers in the pubic schools. The relentless Republican Party attack on public schools needs to be understood within the context of their broader attack on all public services.
The only thing more expensive than quality education is a poor education. We need to provide every young person with an education that prepares them for citizenship while also helping them launch into self-supporting jobs. For young people whose best path is through college we need to provide a track that does not leave them burdened with debt. It is unconscionable that over a generation we have gone from a country that offered affordable access to both vocational education, and college, to a country that chooses to burden young people with debt as the price of starting a trade or career. Two decades of Republican Party mis-rule leave us with an underfunded system and with overburdensome rules. These are policy choices and they can be reversed.