Gwen on education
For Gwen, education isn’t just an issue on a position page, it is a passion that has defined most of her adult life. As a mother, Gwen raised three children who attended Florida’s public schools, volunteering countless hours in their classrooms. As a lawyer, Gwen worked for the Leon County School District, working with parents, teachers, and administrators to increase teacher salaries and raise standards.
From personal experience, Gwen knows there are a few things that work: hiring the best possible teachers and staying out of their way, ensuring that education isn’t one-size fits all, but works for the hopes and dreams of each individual student, and creating an environment that encourages parents to be more engaged in their children’s education.
But right now, Tallahassee is bought and sold by the education industry, with corporations making millions off for-profit charter schools and high-stakes testing. At the same time, every year, the legislature plays a cynical shell game with the lottery money that they promised would go to enhance our public schools.
When Gwen is governor, all of that will end. She will bring down the education industry and get our schools back focused on learning. She’ll work to increase teacher salaries to at least the national average, and ensure that the lottery money is being used for educational enhancements, like increasing technology in our schools, creating innovative education tracks, and fully funding Bright Futures and other scholarship programs so that our kids, should they choose, can afford to go to college here in Florida.
And if the legislature won’t work with her, she will use her bright red veto pen to reject all of their pet priorities, and bring them back to Tallahassee over and over again, until they get it done.
Gwen also knows that our economy is dependent on universities that turn out world class students. As governor, she will work to keep tuition low, fully fund need-based assistance programs, support Florida’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and encourage more partnerships between the companies looking to hire Florida students, and the universities who will educate them.
This isn’t new to Gwen. In Congress, she sponsored the Middle STEP Act, to extend technical and career education to middle schools and keep students interested in learning. She also sponsored the Employer Participation in Student Loan Assistance Act to help students pay off their student loans.
I will work with the legislature – and do whatever it takes, including using the governor’s line-item veto, to end high-stakes testing.