“EDUCATION IS NOT PREPARATION FOR LIFE; EDUCATION IS LIFE ITSELF.” – JOHN DEWEY
In February 2018, educators and service personnel showed the world the power of direct action when the #55United group, led by rank-and-file education workers, banded together to shut down all schools in our fifty-five counties for nine consecutive days. Their demands were simple enough – increase the funding for public education through taxing the right groups. Large, out-of-state corporations who have gotten fat off of our generous tax breaks. Oil and natural gas companies that take our natural resources, buy off our politicians, and hire out-of-state workers.
Research has shown that investing in education – from early childhood through college and trade schools – will increase the rate of return on investment. West Virginia’s failed policies of the past to retain younger residents by offering them the Promise Scholarship has done little to keep our youngest citizens from leaving the state in droves. It is getting harder and harder for young families to stay in the state if childcare becomes too challenging, schools are dilapidated, and the skills our students need to succeed beyond a four-year degree are not provided.
If elected, I will support a universal preschool program for ALL West Virginians to ensure the youngest amongst us have an early start and their families have some measure of afforded comfort that they won’t have to pay out of pocket for directly. I will also support increasing the funding for public education by raising the natural gas severance tax and the corporate net income tax to their pre-recession levels. Lastly, I will work to create a tuition-free community college skills-training program for West Virginians who seek to earn valuable skills for an ever-changing market.