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Education

Michael Bennet (D)

• As Senator, Bennet re-invested in Denver school systems to stimulate educational growth and ended budgetary cuts
• Ensure students in college don't accumulate stifling debt
• Allow borrowers to refinance their federal student loans at lower interest rates
• Increase quality of curriculum and overall educational experience
• Increase teacher pay
• Increase funding for comprehensive educational programs
• Expand Pell grant program

Joe Biden (D)

• Supports two years of free community college
• Provide universal, high-quality pre-K for all three- and four-year-olds
• Include in federal infrastructure legislation funding specifically for improving public school buildings
• Invest in school vocational trainings and partnerships between high schools, community colleges, and employers
• Update curriculum and skills to accommodate rapid technological change
• Triple spending on Title 1 schools and require districts to give educators "competitive salaries"
• Freeze student debt for graduates making less than $25,000 a year
• Ensure the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is fixed, simplified, and actually helping teachers
• Double the number of psychologists, guidance counselors, nurses, and social workers so kids get the mental health care they need

Cory Booker (D)

• Universal preschool education
• Provide support for homeless youth and foster kids
• Supports debt-free college
• Allow borrowers to refinance their federal student loans at lower interest rates
• Expand eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit to low-income students

Pete Buttigieg (D)

• National service plan:
• Increase number of national service opportunities from 75,000 to 250,000 targeting high school, community college, and vocational students
• Create competitive grant funding for cities, counties, and communities to create service organizations around regional issues
• Quadruple service opportunities to 1 million high school graduates by 2026 by expanding existing and creating new service corps such as the Climate Corps and Community Health Corps
• Supports expanding the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which clears student loans in exchange for public service work
• Make public colleges debt-free for lower-income families, but not for everyone
• Double the size of the Pell Grant
• Allow borrowers to refinance their federal student loans at lower interest rates
• Cancel the debts of borrowers from low-quality, predatory for-profit programs
• Dramatically increase Title I funding to support higher teacher pay and supplemental services for lower-income students
• Issue new regulations to diversify the teaching profession
• Increase federal investments and incentivize state and local investments in STEM programs for Black women and men
• Increase funding by $25 billion for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs)
• Have a Secretary of Education who values public education

Julián Castro (D)

• Released a $1.5 trillion education plan that would create a universal pre-K program and tuition-free public colleges, community colleges and technical/vocational schools
• Raised the sales tax by one-eighth of a cent to create San Antonio’s pre-kindergarten program for four-year-olds as mayor
• Called for expanding student loan forgiveness to people who receive federal assistance through programs such as food stamps or Medicaid
• Boost teacher pay through a tax credit of at least $2,000 but up to $10,000, with teachers at schools with more low-income students receiving more
• Provide every family with affordable and high-quality preschool and make it free for those below 250% of the poverty line
• Invest $150 billion in modernizing high school facilities, creating programs to receive college credit in high school at no added cost, and increasing the prevalence of high school trade programs
• Universal free meals in schools

John Delaney (D)

• Guarantee 2 years of free community college through 1.5% tax on incomes higher than $500,000
• Allow borrowers to refinance their federal student loans at lower interest rates
• Proposed a national service program for young Americans, in which 200,000 high school graduates per year can apply to work on a national project such as improving local infrastructure, retrofitting buildings and building parks
• Offer student loan forgiveness for people that live and work in economically disadvantaged communities for ten years
• Increase federal investment in STEM education

Tulsi Gabbard (D)

• Eliminate tuition and fees at four-year public colleges and universities for families that make up to $125,000 a year
• Make community college tuition free, but not for illegal immigrants

Amy Klobuchar (D)

• Provide tuition-free community college and technical certifications
• “Progress Partnership” plan which would provide federal funds for states that pledge to increase teacher pay, update their high school curricula to improve workforce readiness, and demonstrate an equitable system to repair schools across their state
• Expand early childhood education opportunities
• Supports expanding access to technical and vocational training
• Double the number of apprenticeships to over a million by the end of her first term
• Increase funding for special education and high-needs schools
• Supports a plan that would give U.S. public school teachers an average $13,500 pay raise
• Allow borrowers to refinance their federal student loans at lower interest rates
• Increase the maximum Pell Grant from $6,195 to $12,000
• Reinstitute a rule which held for-profit institutions accountable for providing meaningful career skills to enrollees

Deval Patrick (D)

• Supports creating universal pre-K
• Proposed doubling the number of charter schools in Massachusetts
• Proposed making community college free in the state
• Supports investing in workforce development and retraining
• Believes education is the single best investment the public can make in its own collective future
• Praised for instituting reforms aimed at closing the achievement gap between students of different socioeconomic backgrounds
• As governor, allowed undocumented immigrants in Massachusetts qualify for in-state tuition

Bernie Sanders (D)

• Make public two- and four-year institutions tuition-free for everyone, including undocumented immigrants
• Cancel all student loan debt held by Americans using funds from a proposed tax on Wall Street transactions
• Establish a universal pre-K program
• Invest billions in after-school and summer programs, making school meals free, and rebuilding decaying school infrastructure
• Place a cap on student loan interest rates
• Increase teacher pay by setting a starting salary for teachers at no less than $60,000 tied to cost of living
• Create a grant program to provide teachers with funds explicitly meant for classroom materials
• Ensure schools in rural communities, indigenous communities, Puerto Rico and other U.S. Territories receive equitable funding
• Ban for-profit charter schools
• Triple spending on Title 1 schools
• Provide $5 billion annually for career and technical education
• Execute and enforce desegregation orders and appoint federal judges who will enforce civil rights legislation in school systems
• Increase access to English as a Second Language instruction
• Give schools the funding needed to support arts, foreign language and music education
• Guarantee children with disabilities an equal right to high-quality education by enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act

Tom Steyer (D)

• All Americans should have access to a free, quality public education
• Guarantee two years of free college
• Allow students to refinance their student loans at lower interest rates
• Pass a Student Borrowers Bill of Rights
• Forgive the student loan debt of teachers and other public servants
• Invest heavily in worker training and apprenticeship programs to produce a highly trained workforce and meet the technological needs of our changing economy

Donald Trump (R)

• Has cut funding to Department of Education by 13%, eliminating 29 programs and $8.5 billion from the budget
• Believes federal government should not be making profit off student debt
• Opposes loan forgiveness or free college
• Supports eliminating Common Core
• Supports charter schools

Joe Walsh (R)

• Advocates for market-based solutions to education reform
• Very opposed to Common Core
• Ran a fund that gave low-income students scholarships to help them attend private high schools

Elizabeth Warren (D)

• Make public two- and four-year institutions tuition-free
• Expand Pell Grant funding to go toward additional college costs like housing, transportation, food, and books
• Eliminate up to $50,000 of student-loan debt for borrowers earning less than $100,000 — with proportionally less debt relief for those earning up to $250,000
• Provide every family with affordable and high-quality preschool and make it free for those below 200% of the poverty line
• Fund schools adequately and equitably so that all students have access to a great public education
• Renew the fight against segregation and discrimination in our schools
• Increase annual investment in apprenticeship programs tenfold to $2 billion a year, for the next ten years
• Supporter of teachers' unions
• Provide funding for schools to increase pay and support for all public school educators
• Cut off for-profit colleges from receiving any federal funds and ban for-profit charter schools
• Quadruple Title I funding - an additional $450 billion over the next 10 years
• Create a $50 billion fund for historically black colleges and other minority serving institutions and add more money to it over time
• Invest at least an additional $50 billion in school infrastructure across the country
• Have a Secretary of Education that has been a public school educator
• Prioritize presence of counselors, mental health providers, and social workers over police officers in schools
• Cancel student breakfast and lunch debt and provide free and nutritious school meals

Bill Weld (R)

• Has supported abolishing the Department of Education to reduce government's overall size
• Wants to adjust budget to cover in-state tuition cost for displaced workers that lost jobs to technology/machinery
• Wants to repeal federal provision that prevents renegotiation of student debt

Marianne Williamson (D)


• Provide universal pre-K
• Free college or technical school tuition for every qualified student
• Increase funding for free and reduced-price lunches
• Give federal compensation for state school funding, allowing equal access to quality education for every American child
• Radically reduce and, in some cases, outright forgive the debt of college loans
• Reduce student loan fees and interest rates to extremely low percentages

Andrew Yang (D)

• Make two-year community college education free or extremely low-cost
• Allow students to opt into a plan to repay their student debt through pledging 10% of their salary per year for ten years, after which the balance would be forgiven
• Ensure that the government does not profit one cent from student loans
• Ask schools to forgive in part or in whole the debts of those who do not graduate
• Increase teacher salaries
• Expand the amount of technical and vocational education available in high schools and colleges
• Supports early childhood education for all
• Incentivize four-year colleges to reduce their tuition costs
• Encourage highly selective schools to expand their existing class sizes
• Tax universities with large endowments to build new universities