Education Plank

[Adopted at the MOGP annual convention on 8/18/18]

Overview:

The Missouri Green Party believes that public education is important for all Missourians. Our commitment will ensure a public education system in which all people can best achieve their life's ambitions. The Green Party will work to create an educational system that prepares all students to be effective and engaged members of our society.

Section 1. Education is a civil right.

1a. Provide full, equitable funding for all public schools.

1b. Oppose privately managed/for profit charter schools. Charter Schools are one more example of privatizing and weakening public institutions, creating unfair and unequal allocation of resources for education.

1c. End school vouchers schemes.

1d. Call for a moratorium on school privatization.

1e. Provide a free public post-secondary college/career/higher education to all high school graduates.

1f. Expand Missouri’s current A+ Scholarship program to give more students access to the program. Better advertise the program and expand the amount and types of schools towards which it can be used. The A+ Scholarship program in Missouri helps students pay for college. The main requirements that students must meet by maintaining a 2.5 GPA, a 95% attendance rate through HS, be in good standing with the community and school, and do at least 50 hours of tutoring before graduation. This can be used to pay for full tuition at most MO community colleges and help with some four year colleges. However, some high schools don’t have A+ and not all universities/technical colleges accept it.

1g. Expand the Upward Bound program currently in place in Missouri to help first generation college-bound students.

1h. Hold statewide conferences with elected school board officials, community activists, parents and teachers to discuss strategies to increase funding for equitable educational programs, including a review of promised lottery funds from past years.

1i. Maintain local control of schools, including fully elected school boards.

Section 2. Ensure that Missouri schools hire and retain skillful, dedicated and qualified teachers.

Getting a strong teacher workforce will require making the career of teaching appeal to young potential educators.

2a. Improve teacher education by hiring only education professors who have spent the majority of their careers in education as teachers in the classroom.

2b. Protect Missouri teacher tenure program and support teachers’ unions.

2c. Protect collective bargaining and oppose “right to work” laws. 2d. Strengthen, protect and advertise Missouri’s current teacher retirement program.

2e. Provide funding to recruit, prepare, and retain teachers of color.

Section 3. Quality classroom instruction for every student.

3a. Ensure class size limits that foster caring, democratic classrooms.

3b. Protect multicultural/multilingual and ethnic studies programs.

3c. Provide well-rounded culturally sensitive programs, including art, music, physical education, and technology.

3d. Develop programs to identify and help students who are at risk of dropping out and provide effective interventions.

3e. End test-based public school closures and teacher evaluations based on standardized testing outcomes.

3f. End mandated standardized testing and implement meaningful, assessments to support instruction.

Section 4. Public Schools: Uniting Communities.

Missouri needs the community schools model. A community school is both a place and a set of partnerships between the school and other community resources. Its integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development and community engagement leads to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities. Community schools offer a personalized curriculum that emphasizes real-world learning and community problem-solving. Schools become centers of the community and are open to everyone – all day, every day, evenings and weekends. Using public schools as hubs, community schools bring together many partners to offer a range of supports and opportunities to children, youth, families and communities. Partners work to achieve these results: Children are ready to enter school; students attend school consistently; students are actively involved in learning and their community; families are increasingly involved with their children's education; schools are engaged with families and communities; students succeed academically; students are healthy - physically, socially, and emotionally; students live and learn in a safe, supportive, and stable environment, and communities are desirable places to live.

4a. Support the creation of community schools.

4b. Expand preschool and head-start programs.

4c. Establish democratically elected school boards for every district.

4d. Encourage meaningful community involvement in school governance. 4e. End corporate influence over school governance.

4f. Encourage community input into curriculum and assessment policies.

Section 5. Safe, socially just public schools.

Students’ need for safety in the school environment can take many forms: physical safety, acceptance, security about their place in a learning environment and freedom from unjust institutions. Guaranteeing safety in schools requires a variety of approaches.

5a. Create socially and racially just student discipline policies. 5b. Protect the rights of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer), and racially/ethnic diverse students and students from culturally diverse backgrounds. 5c. Ensure racially and socially just policing in every community.

5d. Devote more resources to English as a Second Language (ESL) programs.

5e. Encourage safe and sane gun legislation. Guns should not be allowed in any school. 5f. Promote restorative justice programs for students and staff. The restorative justice model emphasizes accountability, bringing together parties involved in conflict to craft a resolution that benefits all involved.

Section 6: Modernizing our public schools.

6a. Provide funding for schools to use integrated technology in the classroom.

6b. Provide funding for schools to move towards using renewable energy sources.

6c. In designated areas provide funding for schools to create FEMA shelters/areas that can also serve multiple purposes (gyms, theatres, extra classroom space, etc.).

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  • Suzann Fulbright
    commented 2018-10-26 10:49:57 -0500
    Student loan debt?