Ron Birnbaum for Assembly | Education
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Education

I want to lift California’s K-12 schools back to where they belong: among the best in the nation, rather than among the worst.

I believe this begins with universal pre-Kindergarten for all Californians. Children who attend preschool programs are better prepared across the board. Kids who go to preschool do well later in school, get better jobs when they are older, and are even less likely to end up in the criminal justice system. It’s too great an investment not to make. We need to find stable and enduring funding for this major undertaking, but it starts with a commitment to doing it.

Some kids in AD 51 really benefit from their attendance at schools other than their neighborhood public school.  We need to stand by those neighborhood public schools, but we can have a system that takes multiple approaches to suit the diverse needs of our families and communities.

I’m eager to move forward on improvements to our public education system by means that are transparent and put the needs of students above all.

Kids need great teachers. We need to support teachers better in many ways, including helping them to afford living in the communities they serve. Teaching must be made an attractive option for talented college graduates. And we should be open to all evidence-based approaches to improve the quality and retention of teachers in our schools.  I support SB 436, which would address the shortage of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) teachers by providing necessary outreach, recruitment, and incentives to attract and retain STEM professionals to teaching.

California should maintain its world leadership in computer science and digital technologies, and this begins in our schools.

I will work to fully fund higher education in California. I believe community colleges should be free. Public universities should be affordable – which also means free for many if not most students and their families. No student should incur large debts to pay for a four-year degree.

Kids need quality pre-K-12 education and preparation in order to succeed when they get to college, so they arrive ready to receive advanced skills and knowledge from their instructors. We are misusing the talents and passions of our professors if all they do is help remediate writing and basic math skills. We must advocate for girls and young women pursuing STEM in school and throughout their careers.

We need to reestablish the excellence of our learning institutions. Investing in and protecting education has benefits for everyone. Both make California a great place to live, and investing in and protecting these has benefits for everyone.