Education - Lifelong and Life-Affirming
We should view learning as a lifelong and life-affirming process to which all people should have access.
We support learning, and openness to learning. We should recommend the following actions:
Eliminate gross inequalities in school funding. Federal policy on education should act principally to provide equal access to a quality education.
Provide free college tuition to all qualified students at public universities and vocational schools. Abolish all student and parent loans taken out to finance post-secondary and vocational education.
Oppose the administration of public schools by private, for-profit entities.
Increase funding for after-school and daycare programs.
Promote a diverse set of educational opportunities, including multilingual education, continuing education, job retraining, distance learning, mentoring and apprenticeship/vocational programs. Provide resources for career counseling. programs.
Build education programs based on autochthonous skills, crafts, art, music, permaculture, and history. Also present children of colonial heritage viable and sustainable ways of life of indigenous peoples worldwide.
For students with disabilities, provide a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment (as inclusive as possible). Provide curriculum designed for specific disabilities, as well as inclusive training for ALL teachers. Improve transition programs for students with disabilities from ages 18-21.
Give K-12 classroom teachers professional status and salaries commensurate with advanced education, training and responsibility.
Teach non-violent conflict resolution and humane education at all levels of education. Implement and fully-fund restorative justice programs as an alternative to suspension and police referral.
Provide age-appropriate education on gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, and safer sex.
Prohibit advertising to children in schools. Corporations should not be allowed to use the schools as vehicles for commercial advertising or corporate propaganda.
Provide healthy school meals that are rich in vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber, and offer plant-based vegetarian options. Support Farm-to-School programs that provide food from local family farms and educational opportunities. Develop culturally-sensitive menus and provide opportunities for parents to assist in meal preparation.
Ban the sale of soda pop and junk food in schools. Junk food is defined as food or beverages that are relatively high in saturated or trans fat, added sugars or salt, and relatively low in vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber.
Oppose military and corporate control over the priorities and topics of university academic research.
Expand opportunities for universal higher education and life-long learning.
Include a vigorous and engrossing civics curriculum in later elementary and secondary schools, to teach students to be active citizens.
Encourage parental responsibility by supporting parenting in culturally-sensitive ways and increasing opportunities for parents to be as involved as possible in their children’s education. Values start with parents and schools should not seek to de-program students from those values.
Expand arts education and physical education opportunities at school.
Recognize the viable alternative of home-based education and support working-class parents who wish to offer it to their children.
Oppose efforts to restrict the teaching of scientific information and the portrayal of religious belief as fact.
Provide adequate academic and vocational education and training to prisoners.
Decrease the student-teacher ratio in classrooms and increase the number of counselors, nurses, librarians and social workers.
Make all public education sites gun-free to provide a safe learning environment
Include self-defense skills in the physical education curriculum at elementary school level
Provide researched-based drug, tobacco, and alcohol abuse prevention, as well as evidence-based information about the true effect of recreational or medicinal substances such as cannabis on the developing brain.
Include curricula focusing on civil rights history, actions, and advances, and how current law can be used to achieve personal civil rights. Teach all students about white supremacy and intersectionality.
We urge that our nation amend its “binding declaration” with respect to the “Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict” to join the rest of the world in setting 18 as the absolute minimum age for military recruitment.
No person should be permitted to sign away eight years of their life to the armed forces, without full written disclosure of what is expected of them and what they can expect in return from the government. We demand that the practice of deceiving prospective service recruits about the truth of their service contract be recognized as a fraudulent practice and sufficient grounds for revoking an enlistment contract.
Current practices holding individuals legally to all the terms of their military service contract should also apply to the government.
Demand an end to the militarization of our schools. JROTC programs are an expensive drain on our limited educational resources and a diversion from their important mission to prepare our young to assume their role in a peaceful tomorrow. ASVAB testing is being used to mine public school student bodies for data to support military recruiting. Forbid military access to student records. The Pentagon’s Recruitment Command is misdirecting public tax dollars on manipulative campaigns that prey on our young. We insist that local education authorities stand up to these destructive practices.