The right to education at all levels is fundamental to our opportunity to participate as equals in society and politics. Personal wealth should never dictate our access to quality education.
More than a century ago, we committed ourselves as a nation to provide all residents with public education from elementary through secondary school and we did so without the indignity of means tests that stigmatize the poor. Nonetheless, we have funded our schools through local property taxes, leaving poorer communities with less school funding per student. We need to eliminate the unequal funding of public education and insure that all public school students receive comparable resources no matter what their locality. Unequal property values should no longer condition public school funding. Furthermore, we need to raise the quality of public school education by increasing the salaries of teachers in reflection of their qualifications of teachers. Many rural areas in our district are underserved because teachers simply cannot afford to find a place to live.
We need to enable all elementary and secondary school students to have a daily physical education class and a daily music or art class. Fitness and schooling in the arts should not depend upon private family resources. Moreover, students should be exposed to philosophical investigation so they can thoughtfully engage with our political obligations earlier on.
Students should have the opportunity to pursue further technical education or college, no matter what their economic resources. This can be achieved by providing both tuition-free and cost of living stipends so that every student can afford to study full time. With these measures, education at all levels can be a right and not a privilege.