You may think you are voting for Joe, but you’ll really be funding man-made climate-change education

Here are pages 66 – 70 of the Democratic Party Manifesto Platform.
Democrats will “counter the rising tide of denialism by promoting environmental and climate literacy.” (Page 67)
Democrats will also ban charter schools from receiving federal funding. (Page 67)
Also talks about making colleges tuition-free, and forgiving student-loan debt (Page 70)

We recognize that learning starts at birth, and the exorbitant costs of safe, quality child care present a significant economic burden to families. Democrats support making child care and dependent tax credits significantly more generous and will increase funding to states to guarantee that low-income and middle class families can afford child care. We will make major investments to increase quality options for parents and increase compensation for providers.

Democrats also support expanding proven programs for low-income and first-time parents, guardians, and caregivers, including home visiting, that can help connect families in need to
child care, education, and child development opportunities and improve outcomes for children and parents alike.

Democrats also support raising early childhood standards and providing ongoing professional development for early childhood educators, to ensure that children’s academic, social
development, behavioral, and cognitive needs are being met. Democrats believe that early childhood educators, like all educators and all workers, should be paid a family-supporting wage, have access to benefits and paid leave, and be able to organize, join a union, and collectively bargain for better wages, benefits, and working conditions.

Supporting High-Quality K-12 Schools Across America

Each year, the United States spends $23 billion more on schools in predominantly white districts than in non-white districts. Using property taxes to fund public K-12 schools results in inequitable treatment for students in low-income school districts, compared to those in wealthier areas. Democrats are committed to closing the school funding gap by tripling Title I funding, which benefits schools that serve low-income students, and incentivizing states to adopt progressive funding formulas that direct resources to the schools that need it most. We will also ensure sustainable, reliable funding for rural schools, schools in impoverished urban areas impacted by gentrification, and Bureau of Indian Education schools.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has made plain, our public schools are more than places where children learn—they are pillars of our neighborhoods and our society. Democrats believe that no student should ever be shamed over school lunch debt, and support expanding universal free school meal programs. We will also support wraparound health care and nutrition services, before- and after-school programs, adult education classes, and other services by significantly expanding the community school model.

Students should have multiple public school pathways to be able to access the opportunities they deserve. Democrats will work to expand access to career and technical education, magnet
schools for science and the arts, International Baccalaureate programs, and early college high schools to offer multiple pathways to meet the diverse needs and interests of America’s high school students. We will increase investments in high-quality science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs in our public schools, support access to computer science for all and improve professional development opportunities for math and science teachers, including

End of p.66

through the creation of a national science corps of outstanding STEM teachers serving as leaders in their schools and communities. Democrats believe we must prioritize STEAM education and funding for underrepresented students, including students of color, girls, and low-income students, to help remove enrollment and achievement barriers. We will equip students with the knowledge and skills to understand complex scientific issues, counter the rising tide of denialism by promoting environmental and climate literacy, and reverse the Trump Administration’s cuts to the National Environmental Education Act. In addition to developing strong literacy, numeracy, and STEAM skills, our education system should develop the deep learning and life skills needed to thrive in the 21st century economy, including critical and creative thinking, leadership, and judgment and decision-making.

Charter schools were originally intended to be publicly funded schools with increased flexibility in program design and operations. Democrats believe that education is a public good and should not be saddled with a private profit motive, which is why we will ban for-profit private charter businesses from receiving federal funding. And we recognize the need for more stringent guardrails to ensure charter schools are good stewards of federal education funds. We support measures to increase accountability for charter schools, including by requiring all charter schools to meet the same standards of transparency as traditional public schools, including with regard to civil rights protections, racial equity, admissions practices, disciplinary procedures, and school finances. We will call for conditioning federal funding for new, expanded charter schools or for charter school renewals on a district’s review of whether the charter will systematically underserve the neediest students. And Democrats oppose private school vouchers and other policies that divert taxpayer-funded resources away from the public school system, including the program at issue in the recent Espinoza decision.

Democrats are committed to safe and supportive school climates for students and educators alike. Guns have no place in our schools. We disagree strongly with the Trump Administration’s dangerous and short-sighted suggestion that teachers should bring firearms into the classroom.

Democrats also believe that all schools should have adequate resources to expand school-based health services and hire guidance counselors, social workers, nurses, and school psychologists to help support students’ mental health needs, address trauma, and promote social and emotional development. We will work with school administrators, educators, students, and mental health advocates to reduce the stigma that too often prevents students from seeking out these resources.

Democrats will make sure schools do not engage in, and appropriately address, discrimination, bullying and harassment related to sex, including sexual orientation and gender identity; race; national origin; immigration or citizenship status; religion; disability; and language status. We will protect the rights of transgender students.

It is unacceptable that America’s public schools are more racially segregated today than they were in the late 1960s. Schools—and classrooms and programs within schools—continue to be
segregated by race and class. And, with increasing frequency, students are being unnecessarily and unlawfully segregated by disability, language status and through the use of exclusionary discipline and school-based arrests. We believe that schools must no longer engage in segregation and segregative practices. Democrats support appointing judges who will enforce the Civil Rights Act in schools. We will fund federal programs to promote integration and school

End of p.67

diversity, including magnet schools and school transportation initiatives. We will also reinvigorate and increase funding for the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights,
expand the civil rights data collection to inform civil rights enforcement and the public on the status of equal educational opportunity for all children, and build on the Strength in Diversity Act to increase federal funding for community-driven strategies to desegregate schools.

All children have the Constitutional right to go to school. Schools should be safe zones for children and their families, which is why Democrats will protect sensitive locations like schools from immigration enforcement actions. Democrats believe that English learners should be recognized as bringing an asset, rather than a deficit, with them to school. We recognize the need for significantly increased funding and support for English learners to ensure they can participate meaningfully and equally in school. Democrats will protect the civil rights of limited English proficient parents so they receive information in the language they understand and are able to meaningfully participate in their child’s education, including through public meetings and community decision-making mechanisms.

Democrats believe in providing equal educational opportunities for students with disabilities. We will fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and fully implement its requirements for a free appropriate public education and least restrictive environment. We will support aggressive enforcement of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, including the integration mandate of the Olmstead decision, and provide school districts with additional resources to better serve students with disabilities. We will ban seclusion and prevent and decrease use of physical restraint, in partnership with teachers, school administrators, and the disability rights movement. Democrats also support aggressive enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act in schools and other settings.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made long-standing educational disparities evident to all Americans. Democrats will prioritize equitable education and access for students with
disabilities, English language learners, low-income students, students of color, and urban and rural students, including those who are homeless, are immigrants or refugees, or are in the foster care or juvenile justice systems. Remote instruction must be individualized to the greatest possible extent and reasonable modifications should be provided for students with disabilities even during a pandemic.

The evidence from nearly two decades of education reforms that hinge on standardized test scores shows clearly that high-stakes testing has not led to enough improvement in outcomes for students or for schools, and can lead to discrimination against students, particularly students with disabilities, students of color, low-income students, and English language learners. Democrats will work to end the use of such high-stakes tests and encourage states to develop reliable, continuous, evidence-based approaches to student assessment that rely on multiple and holistic measures that better represent student achievement. Assessments will provide families with clear, accessible, consistent information about how well schools are serving individual students and groups of students, while better representing student achievement. Students, parents, and educators will be supported by data collection and analysis disaggregated by race, gender,

End of p.68

disability status, and other important variables, to identify and address disparities in educational equity, access, and outcomes.

Educators have always been heroes. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the value that educators provide to children, parents, and the economy obvious as never before to tens of millions of Americans. Public school educators should have the same rights to organize, join a union, and collectively bargain as private sector workers. Democrats will fight to significantly increase pay and benefits for all educators, in order to help recruit, retain, and reward high-quality teachers and support professionals, and will continue to support measures to help teachers pay for out-of-pocket classroom expenses. We will support programs to help introduce high school students to the teaching profession, enable school support staff to climb the professional ladder within schools, and recruit a diverse educational workforce through partnerships with HBCUs, MSIs, and TCUs.

Making Higher Education Affordable and Accessible

Democrats believe that everyone should be able to earn a degree beyond high school, if they choose to, without money standing in the way. That is why we will make public colleges and
universities tuition-free for students whose families earn less than $125,000—roughly 80 percent of the American people. We will double the maximum Pell Grant award for low-income
students, and double federal support for TRIO programs that help first-generation college students, students with disabilities, veterans, and other underrepresented groups apply to and
complete college.

HBCUs, MSIs, and TCUs serve a disproportionate number of low-income students who might otherwise be unable to access a college degree, and yet these vital institutions are chronically
under-resourced. Democrats will work to provide grants to HBCUs, MSIs, and TCUs to lower student costs, increase academic research capabilities, and ensure these essential institutions can continue to thrive in the future.

Democrats support making community colleges and trade schools tuition-free for all students, including Dreamers. Our nation’s network of two-year community colleges provides accessible, high-quality education for students of all ages. Democrats will additionally support and expand pre-apprenticeship opportunities and registered apprenticeships with formal worker representation in program development to provide a clear pathway to high-quality jobs that does not require attending college.

We will increase federal support for services like child care on college campuses, so more students are able to balance the demands of school and family and graduate with degrees.

Democrats also support increased funding for wraparound services, including covering the cost of textbooks and fees for low-income students and establishing programs to address campus food insecurity, so students can focus on what matters most: their studies.

Democrats will fight to create a federal funding program for higher education, modeled on Title I funding for K-12 schools, that would direct funds to public and nonprofit colleges and

End of p.69

universities and minority-serving institutions based on the proportion of low-income students those schools enroll and graduate. We will promote transparency and fairness regarding higher education faculty working conditions, including adjuncts, graduate employees, and full-time lecturers who are often grossly underpaid compared to full professors, and support and encourage professor tenure. And Democrats will safeguard academic freedom on college campuses.

Democrats oppose the Trump Administration’s cruel and capricious treatment of international students studying in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic. Young people around the world dream of coming to the United States, especially to study, innovate, and contribute to our research institutions, our economy, and our communities. Winning the competition for talents is a major component for winning global competitions in the 21st century. Democrats are committed to policies that make the United States welcoming to the more than one million international students who come to study in our colleges and universities annually, contributing to our higher education sector and to our nation’s intellectual and cultural vibrancy. We will act to restore trust and certainty for international students and the higher education sector as part of the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the Trump Administration’s harmful policies toward international students.

Providing Borrowers Relief from Crushing Student Debt

Student debt is holding millions of Americans back. The COVID-19 pandemic and President Trump’s recession are making it harder for those with student loans to make ends meet right
now. Democrats will work to authorize up to $10,000 in student debt relief per borrower to help families weather this crisis.

Beyond that immediate relief, Democrats will also take steps to ease the burden of high monthly student loan payments through legislative and administration relief processes, including creating a simplified repayment process. Democrats will work to pause monthly billing and stop interest from accruing on federal student loans for people earning less than $25,000, and cap payments at no more than five percent of discretionary income for those earning more than $25,000. After 20 years, remaining federal student loan debt should be automatically forgiven without tax liability.

For those earning less than $125,000, we support forgiving all undergraduate tuition-related federal student debt from two- and four-year public colleges and universities, and we will also apply this benefit to individuals holding federal student loans for tuition from private HBCUs and MSIs.

Democrats support modernizing and improving the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, including making the enrollment process automatic for people who work in schools, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. We will also make the program more generous by forgiving up to $10,000 in student debt per year for up to five years, and apply this action to people who have already dedicated 5 years or less of service to working in our schools, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. We reject Republican proposals that, in the name of simplification, would make students pay billions of dollars more on their student loans.

End of p.70

You can download the entire Democratic Party Manifesto Platform here:

The post You may think you are voting for Joe, but you’ll really be funding man-made climate-change education appeared first on Ice Age Now.

via Ice Age Now

October 21, 2020 at 07:05PM

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