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U.S. Senate candidate Alan Khazei unveiled his plan to overhaul public education Thursday, calling for full funding of early childhood education, increasing teacher salaries, and originating all new federal student loans through the low-interest Direct Loan program.
The City Year co-founder announced his five-point reform plan in Kennedy-esque terms, calling education both an economic and moral issue in America.
"We need to organize parents, teachers, faith-based and non-profit leaders and citizens into a new movement that makes education the civil rights issue of the 21st century," Khazei said.
Khazei spoke at Tech Boston Academy, a Boston pilot high school, as he also called for Massachusetts education innovations to spread across the nation. Tech Boston graduates 97 percent of its students. The dropout rate across Boston public schools as a whole is about 50 percent.
Khazei is pushing for improvements in public education as he campaigns for the Senate seat left vacant by the death of Edward M. Kennedy.
Khazei did not say how much his proposals might cost, or how they would be paid for. He cited an independent consultant study that claimed that increased educational achievement could boost U.S. economic output by $2.3 trillion.
He acknowledged that parts of his five-point plan rely on legislation already pending in Congress, including the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, and the Time for Innovation Matters in Education Act, a bill introduced by Kennedy earlier this year. The legislation would enable low-performing schools to implement longer school days or years.
This program aired on October 22, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.
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