U.S. Politics

Kamala Harris stakes out ground as public education champion with plan to close teacher pay gap

Harris’ plan would also invest in “evidence-based programs that elevate the teaching profession”; significantly, “Half of this funding would be dedicated to historically black colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions, because more than 30 percent of all black teachers, and more than 40 percent of all Hispanic teachers, graduate from those schools.”

In addition to being an important attempt to address a major problem in American education, Harris’ plan is likely helping to boost her with the unions representing teachers. “For every teacher in America and for the 91 percent of kids who attend our public schools, this is one of the most thoughtful initiatives we’ve seen in years,” American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten said in a statement. “Sen. Harris is making sure that if we say teachers and education are important, we actually treat them that way.”

The proposal would be funded through an increase in the estate tax on the top 1 percent and by closing tax loopholes, but Harris had another answer, too: “You understand that your analysis is not how much does it cost, the question is what's the return on the investment. And on this, the investment will be our future.”

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