Democratic presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., unveiled his plan Saturday for reforming public education in the U.S., including halting federal funding of new charter schools and banning those that are for-profit.
Sanders released his plan in a press release ahead of a South Carolina speech on the 65th anniversary on the Brown v. Board of Education ruling that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional.
The senator’s plan “aims to make sure children have access to a high-quality education, regardless of their race, income and zip code.”
Saying charter schools are “exacerbating educational segregations,” Sanders proposed more transparency and accountability for them, as well as limits on the pay of their chief executive officers. The 10-point plan focuses on “reversing racial and economic segregation that is plaguing elementary and secondary schools.”
The current education secretary, Betsy DeVos, is an advocate of charter schools, which receive public funding but operate independently.
In addition, Sanders’ plan also proposes investments to start teacher salaries at least $60,000 and give grants and tax credits to educators to cover the costs of school supplies. This is his first major plan of this campaign for K-12 education reforms. Some of the other two dozen candidates seeking the nomination have come out with their own plans for elementary and higher education, including Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.
Some of Sanders’ opponents, including former Congressman Beto O’Rourke and Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., have voiced their support for charter schools in the past, according to Reuters.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.