There are countless reasons education may well be the cornerstone of democracy. In order to participate in the world today our children must be equipped with the necessary tools. Knowledge is a very powerful tool and a poorly educated citizen reduces the opportunities available to everyone. The key to District 108's economic prosperity lies in the talent of its workforce. It is a fact that states with the highest per capita income are those with the most college graduates. Our schools, colleges, and universities generate and develop the future of District 108. I believe we must work to strengthen schools and open the doors of educational opportunities for all citizens. Beginning with high-quality early childhood education and continuing through high school and beyond, we must ensure that every student has the opportunity to get the education they need to compete for the good-paying jobs of the future. Investing in our children is guaranteed to generate high returns for them as well as our state, which is why I will support early childhood education programs and improved high school graduation requirements. In addition, I will ensure that every resident who wants to go to college or trade school has the chance to do so. I understand firsthand the need to make our public schools a top priority. We must ensure that all children have the opportunity to learn and succeed in quality public schools. More of our students must graduate from high school and many need more help getting there. Our students should be prepared for and have access to higher education in universities, community colleges, technical colleges, or apprenticeships. Our region's economic vitality and the success of our nation depends on the next generation's readiness to compete in the global economy. Education Initiatives-properly fund the class size amendment act and overall Florida comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) which could be best be used as a diagnostic tool, and prioritize funding to update teacher's salaries/benefits
Adequate Funding for Schools
The constitution mandates that public schools are the paramount duty of our state. While we should not forego other important responsibilities of our state government, we must provide a stable and adequate funding source for all K-12 public schools. Though there have been numerous studies of K-12 education, our state's basic education funding model has not changed significantly in over thirty years. The financial burden of unfunded and under funded state and federal mandates in 108 school district alone are over million including costs of special education, transportation and fuel, the sixth period class of secondary school day, cost of living adjustments to match state funded staff, English language learning, utilities, homeless student transports between districts for inadequate funding.
Re-define Basic Education: Basic education today is defined from the 1970's. Three decades later, technology skills, 21st century career paths and global competition, and increased responsibilities mandated upon our schools are not a part of that definition.
Early Education & Higher Education: Preschool learning and full day kindergarten are beneficial for many young children as an important early start for achievement in school. Beyond high school, we need to provide guidance, access, and financial assistance as needed, for post-secondary studies and skills training. As your next State Representative District 108, my commitment is to improve the city's relationship with the school district through the development of partnership and the allocation of financial support to youth programs.
As for my vote, I strongly oppose the passage of this "bad bill." I have read the language of the bill and this bill does nothing to assist and empower our hard-working parents, teachers and especially our future outstanding students. I also oppose vouchers because taking money from tax payers to give to private schools is totally wrong. I will fight to resolve or reverse any bill regarding vouchers in order to increase public education and to help teachers achieve their goals as set in our manifesto to empower the future generation.