"I know the value of a quality education firsthand -- growing up poor, I poured my energy into school, and that's how I was able to win a college scholarship. We need to make sure we prepare every student for the jobs of tomorrow -- whether that means attending college or getting advanced technical training -- or helping adults change careers or start a new one. To compete with China and India, we have to start right now."
As both the daughter of an educator and a college professor herself, Kyrsten Sinema understands that strong schools are built on smart investments -- small class sizes, hiring and keeping the best teachers and safe learning environments for students. Those investments don't just benefit students a decade from now -- strong public schools are critical to a thriving economy, because they help attract new employers who seek well-trained workers and strong communities for existing employees.
Ongoing cuts to public education and unfunded mandates have had predictable results -- students and teachers underachieving, schools becoming overcrowded and a struggling local economy. Sinema believes there's another way, built on:
Immediate investments in early childhood education, the most important years for a child's brain development
Hiring more teachers to reduce class sizes, and increasing teacher pay to help Arizona schools attract and retain the very best educators
Maintaining strong support for our schools -- Sinema has and always will oppose voucher programs that gut classroom funding and undermine our students. Additionally, she volunteered her legal services to help fight the "back door" voucher program established in Arizona
Reducing the cost of higher education -- be that college, technical school or job training -- by keeping costs down, increasing access to Pell Grants and other student aid, to make sure any student that works hard and achieves has a chance to go on to higher education
Investing in research universities like Arizona State University-- where Sinema teaches -- to help attract, retain, and graduate students who are prepared to compete globally
Sinema has been an educator her entire adult life, working as both an adjunct professor at Arizona State University since 2003, and as a school social worker in the Washington Elementary School District for 8 years.