John Delaney's plan for Education

Education is vital to ensuring everyone has an opportunity for a successful future and Delaney intends to reinvest in educational opportunities for all. To prepare for the high-tech, high-skill economy of the future, we must prioritize education.

  • Delaney believes Pre-K through 14 education (two-year community college or technical training) is the new K-12 and that children should have it guaranteed.
    • While in Congress, Delaney introduced H.R. 3466, the Early Learning Act, which would provide every four-year-old child guaranteed access to a free Pre-K program, fully paid for by a surtax on high income earners of 1.5% on income over $500,000.
    • Benefits of Pre-K include improved literacy, math skills, social competence, graduation rates, and full time employment.
    • Education beyond high school increases lifetime earnings. 
    • Community college or technical education after high school can provide a crucial lifeline to young adults trying to find meaningful employment.
    • By expanding educational opportunities, we will work toward closing the skills gap.
      • In December 2018, there were 6.9 million vacant jobs but 6.3 million people unemployed.
  • Create a new Committee of 10
    • The U.S. still uses an education model that was largely set in the 1890s by 10 men. We are doing a disservice to our students by not updating a system that was created before the advent of modern technology and new careers. 
    • We must rethink our basic model of education, which was designed to prepare students for an essentially factory-oriented economy. We need to update our model to drive more innovation and focus on individualized learning.
    • Introduce new classes including civics and financial literacy 
  • Increase federal investment in STEM education and encourage technical training and apprenticeships
    • There are existing public-private partnerships we can use as models, such as apprenticeship programs run by building trades unions, and partnerships between businesses and local community colleges in which education is designed to train students for skilled-labor jobs that local businesses are trying to fill.
  • Make higher education more affordable
    • Reduce costs of student loans.
    • Provide more grants to help students from lower-income families.
  • Delaney introduced legislation to allow borrowers to discharge public and private student loan debt in bankruptcy proceedings. Bankruptcy allows people a legal way to restructure their debts and work their way out of difficult financial situations, but unlike credit card debt, personal loans, or secured debt like car loans and mortgages, in most cases student loans cannot be modified in bankruptcy proceedings. Americans owe more than $1.5 trillion in outstanding student loan debt, and a Brookings Institution analysis of data from the Department of Education shows that up to 40% of borrowers could default on their student loan debt within the next five years.