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|Saint Louis, Saint Charles, Lincoln Counties, MO||August 5, 2008 Election|
By Byron Walker DeLearCandidate for US Representative; District 2; Democratic Party
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We as a national family should fund education as a first priority. Investing in our children's education sets the tone for the care and concern needed for a bright future for America.EDUCATION
We as a national family should fund education as a first priority. Investing in our children's education sets the tone for the care and concern needed for a bright future for America. No other issue can bless future generations with the power that critical thinking brings like providing a rich and productive education for our children.
Having been both a product of public and private schools, I have seen first hand the breadth of possibility in our educational environments here in Missouri. My initial experience in public service over ten years ago was in the helping to co-create a curriculum for at-risk youth in an inner-city school. Both of my parents were teachers and they always taught me the value and importance of education and learning as being the principal foundation upon which any lasting success is built. I will carry this understanding of the importance of education as a principal focus of my candidacy and representation of Missouri's 2nd Congressional District, and will work to help shift our national priorities to fund education first.
Six positions I will pledge to insure quality education in our public schools as the basis of my education platform.
1. I will work to oppose any Voucher scheme to secure and protect funding for public education.
2. Reducing class size will improve each child's educational experience.
3. We must ensure quality teachers in our schools, and not penalize educators who choose to invest in their students through out-of-pocket expenses that they may incur in buying materials and supplies for their classrooms. I support the Teacher Tax Relief Act (H.R. 549) to make permanent a $400 deduction on Federal Taxes to cover these out-of-pocket expenses a teacher may assume in investing in their student's educational experience.
4. Upwards of 30% of our High School students do not graduate. I support funding Dropout Prevention Programs to help meet the goal of a national 90% graduation rate set forth in the "Goals 2000: Educate America Act" signed by President Bill Clinton in 1994.
5. Economically disadvantaged children from lower income families often have health concerns and a lack of basic health care that compromises and negatively impacts their educational experience. My opponent, Rep. Akin, voted to deny health care to 4 million children in 2007. In Missouri's 2nd Congressional district alone, this prevented 4000 children from receiving the care they need and deserve. I support universal health care, specifically H.R 676 to provide health care for all American citizens. Health care provided for at-risk youth will relieve their family burdens of unaffordable and rising health care costs, and positively impact their wellbeing and their educational experience.
6. Reform and rethink the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Emphasize Arts and Sciences in education. The "teaching to the test" that NCLB rewards often misdirects the intended point of the material. The narrow curriculum that NCLB focuses on denies the breadth of a complete education necessary to provide independent thinking and effective problem solving for the 21st Century. Supporting Arts and Sciences and other innovative learning techniques will better prepare our children to the quickly evolving national and global job opportunities today.
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