- Don’t Slash Education Spending
- Public Money for Public Schools
- Train Kids for the Jobs of the Future
- Ease the $1 Trillion+ Student Debt Burden
- Don’t Slash Medicaid to Hurt Students with Disabilities/the Poor in Favor of Tax Cuts for the Richest
A huge part of the reason my wife and I moved our baby girl to Middle Tennessee, and Williamson County in particular, is because the public schools are great. The only way for schools to be great is for them to have the resources they need, which is why I'm very concerned that the budget this administration proposed calls for such deep cuts to education. Some of the biggest axes would fall on a $2.3 billion program for teacher training and class-size reduction, $3.9 Billion from the Pell Grants reserve, and a $1.2 billion after-school program which serves nearly 2 million children, many of them poor. A $190 million literacy program would also be cut. (not to mention Social Security Disability, and Farm Subsidies...)
It also calls for major cuts to Medicaid, to the tune of $1.4 TRILLION over the next decade when combined with the health care bill, which would affect public schools, millions of poor students, and special needs students - after this president repeatedly promised not to do exactly that - while also passing a nearly $2 Trillion Tax Cut, primarily for the richest Americans.
This isn't putting people first. This isn't putting kids first. This is putting corporations and the wealthiest among us first under the guise of fiscal responsibility.
Slashing resources for special needs children hits home for me. My best friend Zev is on the autism spectrum, as you may have seen when we ran The Amazing Race together. Through the race we did some speaking engagements for Autism Speaks, and we were given the Hollyrod Champions Award by Holly Robinson Peete & Rodney Peete’s organization for raising awareness.
My wife Nicole is also a Board Certified Behavioral Analyst in the area, and works with kids with mental health and developmental disorders. She sees first-hand on a daily basis how limited the resources already are to help families of children with mental health issues.
A HUGE priority of mine will be fighting for students with disabilities. This budget does not eliminate debt. It slashes safety net programs for the poor and our children, targeting food stamps and Medicaid while relying on rosy, miscalculated projections about the nation’s economic growth to convince us it'll all be ok.
As your representative I will do everything in my power to readjust those priorities by working to ensure our schools get the resources they need to hire and keep great teachers, invest in technology and modernized job-training programs, and reduce class sizes. I'd also support any legislation that helps college affordable and accessible to all Americans, and reduces the over $1 Trillion burden of student debt young Americans are currently facing. If we want to rebuild our economy and encourage innovation, we need an educated, skilled workforce. Saddling students with debt is not only destructive to students’ futures, it also hurts our economy.
Lastly but most certainly not least, public money should stay in public schools. Betsy Devos is on a mission to push school vouchers as an alternative to public school funding, where money flows away from public schools into private, for-profit school coffers. That is not something I would get behind.