Sunday, June 22, 2003

John Kerry is the best candidate for America's schools.

He is opposed to Republican's phony private voucher schemes- which are really just ways to ruin the schools and fund jihad like private schools. No conservative in their right mind would want to support a federal take over of parochial schools. What Kerry would do, is spend more on public education, where 90% of our kids go to school.

Kerry has been a long time supporter of early childhood education and he recognizes the need for a good, early start to life. He wrote the Early Learning Opportunites Act.

More from his website:

John Kerry has led the fight to obtain federal funding for school construction. There are $127 billion worth of school construction and emergency repair needs nationally. 14 million children are learning in substandard schools in need of major renovation. Half of all schools have at least one unsatisfactory environmental condition, such as polluted drinking water or soot-filled ventilation. At the same time the schools are getting older, the number of students is growing, up nine percent since 1990. John Kerry responded to these challenges by introducing legislation that would allow the federal government to issue $24.8 billion in school modernization bonds in order to help states and school districts repair and build modern schools.

Smaller classes promote student achievement, improve discipline and classroom order, and expand quality learning time. Rather than terminate successful programs to reduce class size, John Kerry will champion initiatives that ensure children are not forced to learn in overcrowded classrooms, particularly in the early grades.

John Kerry supports increased parental involvement in their children's education and measures that make it easier for parents to take time off to attend parent-teacher conferences. Kerry also would expand public school choice programs and support for pilot schools to empower parents and students and provide more options to fill specific needs without draining funds from public education.

Schools serving low-income and minority children are four to five times more likely as other schools to have unqualified teachers. The new education reform law would have dedicated funds to helping teachers gain skills to help their students succeed. John Kerry would provide the necessary support for teacher development, treat teachers with the respect they deserve and encourage talented young people who want to become teachers.

John Kerry was the first to bring the attention of Congress to the importance of leadership of the public schools, recognizing the critical role that principals and other administrators play in school reform efforts. A good leader is in a vital position to affect educational change and improvement. Many of today's principals are reaching the age at which they could choose to retire, and evidence has pointed to a decline in the number of candidates for each opening. If the flow of retirees is not stemmed and the numbers of aspiring principals buoyed, we will face a crucial school leadership crisis - one that could debilitate meaningful education reform. Kerry wrote legislation, which was signed into law, to ensure that these important educational leaders have the resources that they need to serve our school communities.

The federal government has never met its funding obligation for special education. John Kerry has worked with many of his colleagues to ensure that the federal government becomes a true partner of state and local governments in the provision of special education. When Congress passed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, it agreed to fund 40% of the cost of special education. However, the federal government is only actually proving a mere 18%. Kerry has consistently supported efforts to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and will continue working toward full funding.

John Kerry believes that every child who is willing to aim high and work hard should have access to college. Kerry has worked to expand and protect federal student loan programs and federal scholarships. He supports increasing the maximum Pell Grant, and would back "super" Pell Grants, which provides additional assistance for eligible students who graduate in the top 10 percent of their high school class.


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