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New Coalition Calls on Presidential Candidates to Create Comprehensive Policies that Transform Education from Cradle to Grave

Washington, D.C. – On the eve of the Democratic presidential debate, a new coalition of organizations representing all sectors of education called on presidential candidates from both sides of the aisle to propose policies that comprehensively advance the American education system. 

Education 2020 (ED2020) released a policy roadmap outlining how the next president can create equitable opportunities for every child – one that will ensure a just, inclusive, healthy, and prosperous country for all.

“Education is the best investment that we can make as a country. Yet, our failure to prioritize education in a rapidly changing world is jeopardizing our shared future. The next president must act boldly when it comes to transforming education for all communities,” said Daniel Leeds, chair of ED2020. “We call on every candidate running for president to lay out a vision for advancing the U.S. education system. We need a universally accessible, comprehensive approach that gives every American the opportunity to lead a successful life – from birth through lifelong learning.”

ED2020 is a nonpartisan group of more than 20 organizations representing educators, parents, children and youth, people of color, people with disabilities, and more. Public opinion shows a large and growing support for public education: about 87% of Americans, both Democrats and Republicans, say increasing spending for education should be a priority for the federal government, according to a Pew survey. 

The coalition has adopted six core principles that guide presidential candidates as they make proposals to overhaul education: 

  • Comprehensive System: Recognize that the needs of a democratic society and global economy demand universal inclusion and access to ongoing learning opportunities for everyone living in America from birth through career;
  • Equity: Advance equity and a just future, at every level, ensuring that any student can access and benefit from high-quality early, K-12, and post-secondary education regardless of income, race, ethnicity, national origin, disability status, gender (including gender identity), sexual orientation, immigration status or ability to speak English;
  • Early Childhood Education: Ensure equal opportunity for all children, especially those in historically underrepresented families and communities, by guaranteeing access to quality and affordable early care and learning programs that support children’s comprehensive developmental needs from birth to school entry, and provide sufficient resources to accomplish this goal, including investments in the early childhood workforce and infrastructure;  
  • K through 12 Education: Revamp and strengthen the public K-12 system so it prepares all youth for their future by significantly increasing investment, enhancing the capacity for schools to focus on student-centered approaches that meet the social, emotional, and academic needs of students, and providing integrated supports for students (including through family engagement), particularly focused on the needs of historically underrepresented students and under-resourced schools;
  • Post-Secondary Education: Improve access, quality, and affordability for post-secondary education and workforce programs so that all students, and in particular historically underrepresented students, have the opportunity to enter and graduate from post-secondary learning and workforce training, be prepared for the workforce without being burdened by student debt, and fully participate in our democracy and global economy; and
  • Educator Workforce and Capacity Building: Invest in the educator workforce, including preparation, financial support, and development, and physical infrastructure in every community to ensure that our educational institutions from early childhood through higher education are equipped to meet the needs of every learner and our nation’s educators and educational institutions are supported as builders of the future.

The ED2020 coalition members are:

 About Education 2020

Education 2020 is a coalition of organizations spanning the sectors of child well-being, early childhood education, k-12 education, and higher education and from diverse perspectives representing educators, parents, children and youth, people of color, people with disabilities, and more. ED2020 advocates for a shared vision to advance a comprehensive education agenda that promotes universal inclusion and access to ongoing learning opportunities for everyone living in America.