Where Do the Presidential Candidates Stand?: Elizabeth Warren


Where Do the Presidential Candidates Stand?: Elizabeth Warren

Advance CTE is posting a series of blogs on each 2020 presidential candidate who has released an education or workforce development platform and is polling above one percent. Check our website to catch up on previous posts!
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign platform has touted the Senator’s broad and detailed platform has “Got a Plan For That,” regardless of the topic. Her platform for education and workforce issues are no exception as these priorities are laid out in great detail on her website. With her background as a special education teacher, and later as a law professor, it is no surprise that education issues are a focal point of her campaign.

Warren’s entire platform places a high value on the role of public education. – “Every kid in America should have the same access to a high-quality public education – no matter where they live, the color of their skin, or how much money their parents make.”.
Specifically, Warren’s K-12 strategy includes:

  • Quadrupling Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Title I funding – an additional $450 billion over the next 10 years (on the condition that states are required to contribute additional funding consistently); 
  • An additional $20 billion a year to Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) grants;
  • An additional $100 billion over ten years for “Excellence Grants” to public schools; and 
  • $50 Billion to support school infrastructure.

Warren’s detailed higher education plan calls for a broad investment in our postsecondary institutions and support to help learners and their families with the rising cost of higher education. She notes that her in-state tuition at the University of Houston “was just $50 a semester” and that current student debt is holding back learners and their families. Her postsecondary proposal includes:

  • Eliminating up to $50,000 of debt for household income under $100,000, and tiered debt cancellation amounts up to households earning $250,000 a year.
  • Eliminating the cost of tuition and fees at every public two-year and four-year college in America. This proposal also includes investing an additional $100 billion over ten years in Pell grants, to help support non-tuition expenses.

Her platform intends to pay for these programs through an “Ultra-Millionaire Tax,” a two percent annual tax on families with $50 million or more in wealth. Warren notes that it’s “time to give our schools the support they need to ensure that every student has access to a meaningful, high-quality public education.”

In regards to the workforce development system, her platform similarly has a broad array of topic areas. If elected, Warren plans to:

  • Dramatically scale up apprenticeship programs, which will be supported in part by a $20 billion commitment to apprenticeship programs over the next ten years that can “bring together community colleges, technical schools, unions, and companies.”
  • Institute new sectoral training programs to “help align training with the local job market, leverage the
  •  community college system…” and “…ensure that workers gain skills that are transferable across employers.”
  • Create the Department of Economic Development, which would replace the Commerce Department and many smaller agencies to have a single goal, “creating and defending good American jobs.”
    • This department would create A four year strategic plan called the “National Jobs Strategy” which would specifically address “regional economies and trends that disproportionately affect rural areas and small cities.”
  • Create 10.6 Million Green Jobs.

To learn more information about Warren’s education and workforce platforms, you can visit her platform plans page.
Samuel Dunietz, Senior Associate for Federal Policy