Elementary Schools - It is time we give parents the choice of how to spend public education dollars for their children via School Choice. Over the past year with the pandemic, even after vaccines were made available to teachers, teacher unions denied children the opportunity for in-school learning. Unions resisted every effort for students to return to the classroom, putting their interests above the children. (It is worth pointing out that many Private, Charter, and Religious Schools stayed opened throughout the pandemic). Let's give parents the power to invest education money with vouchers and charters to the schools of their choice. Just as in the private sector, money would flow to those institutions/schools that are most successful with the best teachers. It is long overdue we apply these same principles to education and our schools, and let parents decide how to spend their education dollars in schools that put their children first.
High School - I would advocate and push for legislation that included a semester of ‘Personal Finance’ for all Seniors in High School. Students should be better prepared on basic fundamentals of Personal Finance before they venture into the working world, and/or continue their education in college. A semester course of learning valuable principles of saving, investing, retirement plans including 401ks, IRAs & Roth IRAs, and understanding concepts like Return on Investment (ROI) and compound interest would better prepare our students for the future. Of course, a solid education provides the foundation for success, but learning basic money management and personal finance skills in a semester course would better prepare them to grow their wealth as they grow older. I am advocating for such a proposal, because most people from all different backgrounds and incomes experience money challenges to some degree, and were never formally taught these concepts. My proposal would help introduce these vital money management skills at an important time for High School Seniors, before they become adults.
College - Our current system of providing college students with unlimited student loans is not serving them well, nor the U.S taxpayer that is on the hook for these loans (totaling $1.7 Trillion at last count). How many stories do we hear of heavily indebted students with no real ability to pay back their student loans once they graduate from college? ‘Income forbearance Plans’ or ‘Debt Forgiveness Plans’ for the borrower (the latter proposed by Biden and Dems) do not count as solutions, since this leaves the U.S. Taxpayer further in debt without addressing the root cause of the problem. The current environment of federal student loans is serving neither students nor taxpayers well, and Colleges and Universities are growing rich at our expense. They have absolutely no incentive to restrain their huge tuition increases year-in and year-out, when they know the Federal Government will provide unlimited loans to college students and graduate students. I would advocate to get the Federal Government out of the business of providing student loans, and leave it fully to the private sector. No one is standing up for the U.S. Taxpayer and their liability with these Loans, and that needs to change; I would represent a voice with actions to defend the U.S. Taxpayer and end the Federal Program. With my proposal, new student loans would be left to the private sector & investors, loans to students would no longer be “unlimited,” and colleges would have no choice but to decrease the rate of tuition hikes when the huge sums of money from the Federal Government (i.e. U.S. Taxpayer) disappear. Many students are being done a huge disservice currently by borrowing huge sums of money with no real ability to ever pay it all back.
Colleges & Universities need to play an important part in the solution, as well. There was a time years ago when a college education was an "investment" for just about any chosen major. That universal statement is no longer true due to obscenely high tuition costs. As a result, I would push for Colleges & Universities to “disclose” the median starting salary of a student’s chosen major during their freshman year, and provide estimated total tuition costs over a 4 year period. This would enable students to make better, informed decisions about their chosen major and its costs. Understanding this ‘Total cost of education’ vs. ‘The starting salary of a chosen major’ (i.e. Return on Investment) would give students the opportunity to re-think their major, and/or review the total amount of money they would have to borrow. Under my proposal, Colleges that would seek to “game” the system and under report expected tuition costs and/or inflate the starting salaries for students would be penalized, with money flowing back to the student from the university. Perhaps this would push colleges to work harder in job placement programs that will help recent grads with good paying jobs, too. As such, it’s long overdue for our colleges & universities to back up their "investment" thesis, and have a vested interest in the success of the students they are supposed to be serving and educating. My proposals that I have brought forward could help decrease the tuition costs for students going forward, and at no new cost to the U.S. Taxpayer.