Buono Releases Comprehensive Education Plan
By Mel Fabrikant Tuesday, September 03, 2013, 02:30 PM EDT
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono today released her comprehensive education plan to strengthen New Jersey’s education system. The Buono Education Plan offers solutions and innovative policy ideas to enhance early childhood education and higher education in New Jersey.
“Education is the great equalizer in our Democracy, and I believe that every child in New Jersey, regardless of their background or upbringing, must have the opportunity to receive a quality education,” Senator Buono said. “As Governor, I will tackle the big challenges facing our education system, including the achievement gap and the rising cost of higher education, to fundamentally improve outcomes for children across New Jersey.”
The first part of the Buono Education Plan focuses on early childhood education with the goal of ensuring all students live up their full potential. In order to provide all New Jersey children with an opportunity to receive a quality education and pursue their dreams, Senator Buono will fully fund all public schools in accordance with the law. And in recognition of the benefits of early education, Senator Buono will expand access for early education and implement full day kindergarten. Developing these crucial skills at a young age is key to economic growth in the future.
“From preschool through college, we need to make sure that we are providing our young people with the tools they need to thrive in the global economy and the opportunities to stay and become an essential part of New Jersey’s dynamic workforce,” Senator Buono said. “Equipping today’s students with the essential skills of tomorrow is key to creating a workforce that generates long-term economic growth, attracts new businesses, and creates jobs here in the Garden State.”
The second part of the Buono Education Plan centers on higher education. New Jersey is home to some of the nation’s top colleges and universities, but too many New Jersey students are choosing to attend school elsewhere in the face of rising costs. Senator Buono’s plan provides a host of solutions to attract students to stay in New Jersey.
“As a mother of six and an alumna of Montclair State and Rutgers Law, I know the cost of higher education is out of reach for too many New Jerseayans,” Senator Buono said. “We should be encouraging our best and brightest students to be chasing their goals at home, instead of leaving New Jersey for lower tuition. My plan calls for immediate action to bring down tuition costs, expand options available to students and increase opportunities available to students once they graduate.”
Early Education Highlights include:
• Restore and fund all of New Jersey’s public schools according to the law to ensure that every child has the opportunity to receive a quality public education.
• Expand early childhood education to foster better educational outcomes, and stronger learning skills.
• Implement full-day kindergarten to allow our children to continue to grow and learn.
• Restore funding for before and after school programs to encourage learning and activity outside the classroom.
• Encourage students to gain skills in the STEM fields since New Jersey will need to fill 269,000 STEM-related jobs by 2018.
• Attract qualified, talented teachers and administrators to New Jersey who will create an environment where our children can succeed.
Higher Education Highlights include:
• Make tuition at our public colleges and universities more affordable by investing in higher education.
• Increase scholarships and tuition assistance.
• Re-invest in county colleges to provide New Jerseyans with an affordable way to gain the skills they need.
• Enact tuition equality to empower New Jersey's Dreamers to pursue a degree and become part of our workforce.
• Increase funding for vocational programs that train workers for jobs.
• Increase post-graduation job opportunities by connecting start-up and emerging market businesses with institutions of higher learning.
• Ensure high school students graduate with the skills needed to succeed in the 21st century workforce and postsecondary education courses.