Sandra comes from a family of public school teachers - her mother was a kindergarten teacher and is now a guidance counselor. In fact, Sandra's mom helped bring a community college to their region. Sandra took classes there to prepare for college, and because her family was willing to make sacrifices for her, she became the first person in her father’s family to earn a bachelor's degree.
Unfortunately, Sandra’s family’s commitment to education wasn’t the norm there. Because she grew up in a community where education wasn’t adequately valued, Sandra knows first hand the difference that investing in our schools makes. She’s seen the economic consequences when we don’t invest. These experiences are the reason education is one of Sandra’s top priorities.
Sandra has been endorsed by many education leaders:
California Federation of Teachers
Faculty Association of California Community Colleges
Los Angeles College Faculty Guild AFT Local 1521
UC-AFT Local 1990 (UCLA)
Roberta Achtenberg, Former Chair, Cal State University Board of Trustees
Some of Sandra's proposals include:
- Early Childhood Education
Investment in early childhood education is critical, but can’t be done at the cost of cutting funds from our public schools. Separate investment in early childhood education is crucial to adequately preparing students and to help close the achievement gap for children from lower-income families. Because it lays the groundwork for children’s learning, it’s the most strategic investment we can make in education. Moreover, this type of affordable access to childcare ensures that parents can pursue their careers and provide an economically stable home for their children. Sandra is an active member of the Raising California Together coalition, championing investment in early childhood education.
- Affordable Higher Education
We must fix our broken higher education system so future generations of students have affordable access to higher education, including community colleges, state colleges and universities. Students should never be denied access to a higher education because of funding shortages, nor should their financial future be imperiled by staggering educational debt. Sandra will ensure that after several years of massive increases, the UC, Cal State and community college systems have the base funding they need so increases to tuition and fees are finally put to an end. Sandra has worked with Young Invincibles on these issues for a number of years and will continue to champion the affordability of higher education in the State Senate.
- Increasing resources to public education
We've made good initial steps toward restoring funding to public education, but there’s much more to be done to adequately equip our schools to meet the challenges they face. Even after the planned restoration of the cuts of recent years, our per pupil investment in children’s education is among the very lowest in the country. Proposition 98 funding alone is not adequate and Proposition 30 is only a step in the right direction – we must do more, including ensuring there are adequate computers available for students to prepare for the computerized testing required soon.
- Support Services
It is time to adequately invest in student support services so that all of our students have a healthy start. This includes after-school programs, access to psychologists and counselors, healthy and affordable food options, social workers and physical education.
- Workforce Preparation and Vocational Education
Students should have many opportunities to explore, including adequate preparation to enter our global economy. Many green tech and clean tech jobs are available in California, but our students must have the technical skills and experience needed to do those jobs. Linking labor, education and the economy must be a top priority.
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