Public Education is one of the most important systems that we should be investing in. The issue our district is facing is disproportionate funding of schools because of severely disproportionate property taxes. We need to find a way to redistribute wealth in order to give all our children an equal opportunity to a quality education.
In California's 15th district, we boast of having a top-performing high school, James Logan High School in Union City. I am an alumnus of this school, and while it was a wonderful experience, I know that we can do more.
Currently, our New Haven Unified School District teachers are on strike because they are not able to reach an agreement on a rise with the district. Some criticize this strike, saying that they are already some of the highest paid teachers, and while that is true, their income is still significantly below the cost of living in the Bay Area.
Teachers are those who we trust to teach our children the skills they need to succeed in life. We should be putting our money toward treating our teachers right before they decide to leave this district for areas that will treat them better.
Benefit of Arts Programs
We need to invest more of our time, effort and money into the arts programs at our schools. We need to spearhead a shift from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and into STEAM (Science, Technology, Arts, Engineering, and Math). According to the Brookings Institute, children who take art are less likely to face disciplinary action, perform higher on tests, and are more empathetic towards others. This is what we need more of in our nation. Subjects like band, graphic design, theater, drawing, and shop classes should not be the first ones on the chopping block. There is so much value in learning how to express yourself in constructive and non-physical ways.
School to Prison Pipeline
The School to Prison Pipeline is a trend noticed in minority communities, where young children who are often considered “at risk” are not given the help they need in school and end up in prison not long after leaving high school due to disproportionately harsh punishments from schools and principals. We must break this trend by ensuring the school administrations are trained on racial biased, and reevaluate the way students are disciplined.