Former Vice President Joe Biden Unveils Major Education Reform Plan
Former Vice President Joe Biden announced a massive education plan on Tuesday during a town hall with the American Federation of Teachers. This bill, one of the first major plans that Biden has unveiled so far, is aimed at improving the education system for all, regardless of race, gender, or socio-economic background.
I’ve seen firsthand how hard teachers work with little support and few resources. We’ve got to do better. That’s why today, surrounded by America’s teachers, we laid out our plan for educators, students, and our future: https://t.co/d1o4WnDczV. pic.twitter.com/6UxCx8bvjb
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) May 28, 2019
Biden’s plan involves tripling the amount of funding given to the Title I program which helps schools with large numbers of low-income students. This is part of Biden’s goal of closing the gap in quality of education between white and non-white districts. This funding would be used to appeal to teachers who would otherwise be siphoned off the higher paying districts or private schools, as well as increasing the educational opportunities for 3- and 4-year-olds.
Other aspects of Biden’s plan include helping teachers pay off student debts, recruiting more mental-health professionals, hiring more teachers of color to act as diverse role models, and providing increased vocational training for students. Biden wants to provide free community college for all, a watered down version of other Democrats’ calls for free universal state college.
This plan is an attempt to appeal both to younger liberals who want to reform the education system to make it more egalitarian and to the powerful teachers union. Biden has been trying to paint himself as a “union man” who can appeal to the working class people who voted for Trump in 2016. One of the main targets for the Democrats in 2020 are the Rust Belt states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.
Biden’s education plan is not the first, however, as several other candidates have rolled out their own proposals. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) has also sponsored a plan to increase funding to the Title I program, as well as setting a $60,000 minimum starting salary for teachers. Senator Kamala Harris (D-California) has also suggested spending $315 billion over ten years in order to increase pay for educators.