Thursday night’s debate was the first of 2019 to address education in depth, and the candidates showed just how much distance there is between every single Democrat in the race and Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos. Sen. Kamala Harris took the chance to talk about diversity and representation in our schools—again, a huge shift from an administration that’s working to make it easier to discriminate outright.
Watch (transcript below):
Harris: My first grade teacher, Mrs.. Francis Wilson, God rest her soul, attended my law school graduation. I think most of us would say that we are not where we are without the teachers who believed in us. I have offered in this campaign a proposal to deal with this, which will be the first in the nation, federal investment, in closing the teacher pay gap, which is $13,500 a year. Because right now, in our public schools, our teachers, 94% of them are coming out of their own pocket to help pay for school supplies. and that is wrong.
I also want to talk about where we are here at TSU, and what it means in terms of HBCUs. I have—as part of my proposal that we will put $2 trillion into investing in our HBCUs for teachers, because—because—because, one, as a proud graduate of a historically black college and university, I will say—I will say that it is our HBCUs that disproportionately produce teachers and those who serve in these many professions—
Moderator: Thank you, senator.
Harris: —but this is a critical point. If a black child has a black teacher before the end of third grade, they’re 13% more likely to go to college. If that child has had two black teachers before the end of third grade, they’re 32% more likely to go to college. So, when we talk about investing in our public education system, it is at the source of so much. When we fix it, it will fix so many other things. We must invest [crosstalk]
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