We need to invest in our children, starting with pre-school. Children who attend quality pre-schools are more likely to excel in their education and careers, and less likely to need public assistance or end up incarcerated.
K-12 Education needs to be freed from the unintended consequences of No Child Left Behind: an over-emphasis on testing. Public elementary schools need to be allowed to return to instilling a love of learning while teaching the basics. Elementary school should not be a stressful, test-driven environment. Children should be taught creative thinking, so they can become the problem-solvers of tomorrow. Linking teacher salaries to test scores has led to a degradation of our entire educational system, and it must stop.
Community colleges and public colleges and universities should be offered debt-free, perhaps with zero-interest loans that are forgiven following a period of community service such as the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps or military service. Union apprenticeship programs and other post-secondary vocational training should likewise be subsidized by the federal government in such a way as to encourage union membership and enable young people to enter the trades debt-free.
We will be able to pay for this when the wealthiest 1% pay their fair share of taxes.