EQUAL OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL
Pre-school should be a right, not a privilege - Federal government should work with states and municipalities to establish universal pre-school, and also provide vouchers for parents in areas without public pre-school.
Defend and expand the rights of transgender, gender non-conforming, and intersex students - Even without schools and other public institutions discriminating against them, life for LGBTQI youth is often a struggle. Schools should be safe havens for all students.
Equalize public school funding across municipalities - This is a thorny issue, but solving it would get to the heart of one of the most fundamental sources of American inequality. Underprivileged children are systemically left behind due to our system of local property taxes being used to fund federally-mandated public education. But while local governments control public schools, the federal government has leverage over enough funding to determine much education policy on a national level (see “No Child Left Behind”, which used this power to impose nationwide standardized tests and failed to prevent many children from being left behind). Equalized funding across districts would involve incentivizing states to establish combined funding pools or matching districts together in a sort of “Sister Districts” program.* It is no coincidence that the poorest districts in New Jersey are where people of color live. I consider policies to equalize public school funding to be part of the collective reparations necessary to compensate for decades of official discrimination in housing policy and real estate markets (known as "redlining").
Free college education - Higher education should be available to all who seek it.
Expand student loan debt forgiveness programs - People who use their education and become good citizens should not be saddled with debt for the rest of their lives. If elected, I would immediately sign on as a co-sponsor to HR 2366, the "Discharge Student Loans in Bankruptcy Act", because our bankruptcy laws should treat student loan debt like any other debt.
Fight back against attacks on public sector unions - Teachers should be well compensated and supported in the classroom. They have every right to organize collectively.
*If every poor community were paired with a nearby rich community (or more than one), with a significant portion of its annual budget covered by tax-payers in the wealthier community, it would not only improve education in the poorer district, but also serve to foster real bonds between students and faculty in each district and between those two communities in general. Detractors would find it hard to oppose such arrangements because the consequences of ending them would be born by specific children, likely in a neighboring community, not generic “poor people” considered in the abstract.