Equal opportunity through education used to be one of the great pillars of American society. Today, our public schools are under assault from the Trump administration, who intends to strip them of federal funding with a voucher system that has proved disastrous in other states. A bill to eliminate the federal department of education is also in the works, which would strip minorities and children with disabilities of all protections and access to equal education.
Instead of being available to all, our higher education system punishes students and working families by forcing them to pay for the ever-increasing costs of college and trade school through crushing debt. The average skills certification now costs $35,000, and 70 percent of college students take out student loans, with the average grad carrying nearly $33,000 in debt. Many graduate, only to discover that one out of every three jobs in our state pays less than $25,000 a year, and South Carolina has the 5th largest rate of workers who earn minimum wage or less. More than a third of all student borrowers are now either delinquent or in default on their education loans. Meanwhile, CEOs and corporate executives make multi-million-dollar salaries.
Everyone needs an education. That’s why Annabelle is committed to saving our public schools as well as our colleges and universities. She believes the playing field must be leveled, and that America must join the rest of the civilized world by providing free public college and skills training for all. Annabelle will also vote to raise the federal minimum age, increase pay for all workers, and add veterans and LGBTQ as protected categories under the Civil Rights Act, which prevents discrimination in employment.