Fact One: The nation’s education report card is dismal.
Less than 34% of eighth graders are proficient in math and reading according to the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).1 Rates for students of color and poor students are even worse. Proficiency rates across states and across certain urban districts also ranged widely. Students in Detroit, for example, had average proficiency of only 5% in eighth grade mathematics in 2017. Democrats realize the critical value of public education and recognize that more work needs to be done to improve schools and equity throughout the country.
Fact 2. Education spending has not kept up with inflation for the past ten years.
Average education spending per pupil has been nearly flat, increasing less than 4 percent over the past ten years.2 Average teacher pay in Republican-controlled states like Florida has actually decreased 12% over the past nine years in inflation-adjusted dollars.3 Democrats understand that adequate funding is necessary for excellence in education.
Fact 3: Education helps protect workers from economic downturns.
A Brookings Institute study found that citizens with less education experienced more job loss during the Great Recession than those with college or higher degrees. Those without a high school diploma were hit the hardest. The less-educated groups have still not recovered to pre-recession employment levels. Democrats understand that education is critical to bridging inequalities and providing opportunity for all.
Where we got these facts