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Our state government must serve as a guarantor of the human and civil right of every American child to a free and appropriate education tailored to their needs and their potential.  Far too often, that right remains out of reach for too many children, especially those from working-class families, immigrants and communities of color, children with disabilities as well as LGBT and transgender children.

Our schools need not be a production line for colleges and universities admission. We need to engage parents, students, educators as well as guidance counselors on how best to attain post secondary education while maximizing life earning potential. While some students may have the aptitudes suitable to pursue a bachelor or master degree, others may have aptitudes for practical skills. In the commonwealth and all across America, there is a high demand for skilled tradespersons, such as plumbers, electricians, carpenters, HVAC or auto mechanics,  because many are aging and retiring. Moreover, these skilled-tradespersons jobs pay very well while at the same time do not saddle students with debts. In fact, students can earn a living wage while being in an apprenticeship.

Education is a continuing and on-going process throughout our lifetimes. It is critical to unlocking individual potential and expanding our economy. Throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, we have far too many vocational schools that are underutilized. After school hours and during the summer, these buildings, many of which are state of the art facilities, are sitting empty.

My proposals:

Review and Update Standards & Curriculum

I support a partnership between state and local governments to review and update standards and curriculum to identify, engage and counsel students and parents about post secondary education. Post secondary education is a significant and critical financial investment by families and students. We want to make sure that parents and students are not saddle with debts and with a degree that does have the highest earning potential.

Those students desiring a skilled-trade should be able to enter into a vocational school and be an apprentice with a local company earning money while going to school. Funding can come from grants from the federal and state governments.

Continuing Education &Training

The vocational schools that are sitting empty after hours need to be turned into a continue education center for adults who are under-employed, unemployed or who want to gain new skills for better paying jobs, employing actual skilled tradespersons as teachers. To fund this continued education program, there is an existing state program funding under the Department of Unemployment Assistance. No additional funding source is needed. This is a critical investment in human capital and our economy, which easily pays for itself in the long term with higher wage earners and taxpayers. It provides immediate benefits to working and middle-class families and their quality of life.

Committee to Elect SAM MEAS
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