Democratic gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono today released her education plan that includes restoring full funding for public schools, instituting full-day kindergarten, and restoring full funding for before- and after-school programs.
In addition, the platform, which Buono is scheduled to discuss later today at Rutgers University, would include increased investment, tuition assistance and more scholarships for higher education.
“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,” Buono said in a release accompanying her proposal.
“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,” 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.”
Her platform also includes more investment in county colleges, increased funding in vocational programs, and Iincrease post-graduation job opportunities by connecting start-up and emerging market businesses with institutions of higher learning.
Other elements of her plan include encouraging students to pursue fields in STEM – science, technology, engineering, math – because she believes New Jersey will need to fill 269,000 such jobs by 2018.
“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,” Buono said.
Polls consistently place her far behind Gov. Chris Christie, but one source of support she has had is from some of the labor camps, including public school teachers.