Eugene knows that investing in our schools is the most important step we can take to ensure our future prosperity as a country and equip our children with the skills they will need to compete in a 21st century economy.
However, Eugene knows that before we can make schools better, the first step is to get them back open. Eugene has called on Congress to pass legislation that will provide funding to allow schools to open safely, such as money to provide personal protective equipment for teachers, staff, and students; plexiglass dividers between desks; and smaller class sizes to allow for social distancing. Eugene will allow public health experts and educators to lead the process of reopening to ensure it is safe and sustainable for our children, teachers, staff, and community at large.
As Auditor General, Eugene helped lead the fight for a fair funding formula that brought increased funding per pupil for rural and urban school districts. He also audited large charter school management companies and brought attention to tens of millions of unspent public education dollars and state laws that prohibited transparency on whether those dollars are used to pad the salaries of corporate executives, instead of educating our children.
As a strong advocate for public schools, Eugene will take those same fights to Congress, proposing legislation to increase funds for grant programs administered by the Department of Education, leverage those dollars in more creative ways to incentivize further investment of state dollars into schools, and ensure the federal government is fully meeting its commitment to fund special education under the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education) Act.
Eugene has also vowed to hold Education Secretary Betsy Devos accountable, and stand up to her pro-privatization agenda. Eugene will be vocal in his opposition to any attempt to undermine or voucherize our public education system.
Eugene also believes in investing in our teachers, supporting an across-the-board wage increase, along with more support for teachers pursuing advanced degrees in fields related to the subject they teach. Such investments will attract even more talent to a vocation as important as any other: educating our kids.