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Cong cand Bardel (G-NY13) on Primary and Secondary Education

Hank Bardel (Green-NY13)

Hank Bardel (Green-NY13)

Hank Bardel said:

Education in the United States is a highly contested issue, but as a candidate for congress I’d like to change the nature of the debate. By addressing the pressing economic issues of families, by properly staffing public schools, and by offering real alternatives for gathering revenue, we as a nation can make education much better.

One of the first things that has to be taken care of is the poverty that many school children live in. How can we expect our children to do well in school if they don’t get enough to eat? If they don’t have adequate clothes? Or if one or both parents suffer from some type of substance abuse and cannot supervise their child properly? We must mandate for each working person a minimum working income of at least $45,000.00 per year and we must make available to every parent free childcare services.

Another thing that has to be done is the building of more schools that are adequately funded with modern equipment and adequately staffed with teachers so that teacher-student ratios are at a manageable level. We should restore any cuts that were made to music and art. Lastly, and for reasons so clearly elucidated by education guru Diane Ravitch, we should not be funding Charter Schools. Publicly funded but privately managed, the charter schools are commodifying children, not paying the prevailing wage and are a scheme to bust the teacher’s unions.

The way to finance our public school system is not to rely on real estate taxes but to return to the system of revenue sharing with the federal government that we had in the United States during the 1980’s. Revenue Sharing is a system whereby the federal government shares its taxes with the state and local governments. The federal government can raise adequate funding for all our needs by progressively taxing all those making $250,000.00 and more.

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