We Need To Fully Fund Our Public Schools

For as long as I can remember, public education has been a big passion of mine. As a former School Board President and a member of the House Education Committee, I’ve had the pleasure to interact with students and educators from all around the state of Iowa to better our public education system. But over that time, it has become clear that we have not done nearly enough to properly invest in our children and future generations to come. My campaign hopes to change that by advocating for smart, equitable policies which make sense for House District 82. 

Public Education

 

Public schools have been the bedrock of our nation almost since the very beginning. Yet, despite how much our communities depend on public schools to give our children a proper, high-quality education, there are those in Des Moines who would prefer to reallocate much of that crucial funding elsewhere. In the State Legislature, you can count on me to fight for pro-public education policies such as:

 

  • Enacting the safest measures possible to protect our teachers and students from COVID-19

  • Working with local school boards to come up with COVID-19 precautions that make sense for each school district

  • Ensuring our rural schools get the funding they need to provide a quality education

  • Ensuring public dollars go to fund public schools

  • Working to increase the number of social workers in schools, because every student deserves someone that can help work with them through stress environments and situations 

  • Creating incentives for students to study STEM-related fields, and other needed professions in our community and state

  • Ensuring we provide a safe and inclusive school environment by protecting all students from acts of harassment, discrimination, and violence

  • Ensuring children enrolled in special education have the same educational opportunities as other children

  • Working with the local leadership to promote local grown whole foods as much as possible in school meals

  • Expanding early childhood education through initiatives like Iowa’s statewide voluntary preschool program to help kids enter kindergarten ready to learn

  • Expanding before and after school programs to close the achievement gap

 

Trade Schools & Community Colleges

 

Every day, House District 82 depends on those who go to trade schools and community colleges. Whether it be our construction workers, our electricians, or our local plumbers, they help make our communities better. Just like they invest in us, we should be investing in them. In Des Moines, I will fight for those who desire to go to trade school or community college by supporting policies like:

 

  • Expand funding for apprenticeship programs and job retraining to advance Iowan’s careers

  • Increasing Career Technical Education assistance, internships, externships and summer work programs

  • Promoting employment opportunities with a degree from trade schools and community colleges

 

Colleges & Universities

 

When I was a student at Iowa State University in the early 1970s, the state of Iowa invested in about 80% of the cost of my tuition while I covered the rest. Today, those numbers have flipped. As a result, it has put countless numbers of graduates into massive financial debt. As your next State Representative, I will stand up for what college students rightfully deserve from pursuing a higher education including:

 

  • Expanding tuition assistance, grants, and scholarships to students, including students at private colleges, to keep higher education affordable and accessible to all Iowans

  • Keeping tuition affordable and reducing student debt for all Iowa families

 

Teachers

 

When I was a student, I had a teacher named Mrs. Devine who was so dedicated to her profession and made the students in class excited to learn every day. I think about her and the countless other teachers around the state when I witness the gross attacks that are lodged at them in Des Moines. They deserve so much respect from all the good work they put into teaching our children. In the State Legislature, I will advocate for policies such as:

 

  • Paying teachers what they deserve

  • Reversing the 2017 attacks on teacher’s collective bargaining rights and expanding their ability to negotiate a fair contract

  • Making sure teachers don’t have to pay for classroom materials out-of-pocket

 

It’s remarkable how much public education has changed since my time as a student. However, if my children and grandchildren have taught me anything over the years, it’s that we cannot stop investing in their futures. In Des Moines, I will continue to stand up for them and students all around House District 82 so that they receive the quality education they all deserve.

 

Phil

Paid for by Phil Miller for Iowa House