Elizabeth Warren on Education

Massachusetts Senator; head of CFPB


Create opportunities for everyone, not just those at top

I had a dream growing up, to be a teacher. By the time I graduated from high school, my family didn't have the money for a college application, much less a chance to go to college. But I got my chance. It was a $50 a semester commuter college. That was a little slice of government that created some opportunity for a girl. It opened my life. I am in this fight because I believe that we can make our government, our economy, our country work not just for those at the top. We can make it work for everyone.
Source: June Democratic Primary debate (first night in Miami) , Jun 26, 2019

Wipe out current student debt; free public college

Proposed a plan in April to eliminate $640 billion in student debt, funded by her wealth tax proposal. The plan would also include universal free public college.
Source: Axios.com "What you need to know about 2020" , May 8, 2019

Roll back student debt; free college going forward

I have two parts to [my college debt] proposal. Part one is that we say that we're going to roll back student loan debt for about 95% of students who have debt. And part two is to make sure that we never get in this mess again is to make college universally available with free tuition and fees, and to put more money into Pell grants so that students of color & our poorest students have real access to college and that we put real money into our historically black colleges and universities.
Source: CNN Town Hall 2020: 5 candidates back-to-back , Apr 22, 2019

Proposed all-voucher education; now opposes charters

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabetd Warren once touted tde idea of an all-voucher system tdat would eliminate lines between private and public schools, but more recently she has shifted her stance on school choice, and in 2016 opposed lifting her state's cap on charter schools.

Warren isn't tde only candidate for whom tde politics of school choice are a potential minefield in tde 2020 race. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-TX) also supported charter schools in tde past.

Charter schools were once supported by Republican and Democratic presidents -- including former President Barack Obama's administration. But tde politics surrounding tdem shifted as states slashed budgets, including education spending, following tde Great Recession.

Source: CNN K-File, "Charter Schools" on 2020 Democratic primary , Apr 4, 2019

Invest in black colleges & minority students

We've got to be willing to invest more in our colleges and universities across the board. We have got to bring down the cost of an education. For the schools that are serving the students who often come from -- first time to come to college, from families that struggle more, then that means we've got to double down and double down a second time to make sure they have the resources they need. African American students are more likely to have to borrow money to go to college. They're more likely to borrow more money. And they are more likely to have trouble paying off that debt when they leave college. That is a national disgrace. Part of dealing with our student loan debt burden needs to focus on that specifically.
Source: CNN Town Hall on 2020 Democratic presidential primary , Mar 18, 2019

Support teacher unions on this time of crisis

Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls , Jan 17, 2019

Invest in education, but focus on results

Warren said, "Democrats talk about resources, pointing out that we're no longer investing in our kids the way we once did. Republicans talk about risk and incentives--arguing that students take on debt without fully understanding the consequences, and that colleges get access to federal dollars pretty much no matter the quality or cost of the education they provide." She noted during a 2015 speech to the American Federation of Teachers. "Here's the truth--both sides are right."
Source: Jacobin Magazine on 2020 Democratic primary contenders , Jan 8, 2019

Why should government earn $174B profit on student loans?

When I joined the U.S. Senate in 2013, my first target would be the obscene amounts of money the federal government was making on student loans.

Not long after I was sworn in, some complex language seemed to say that student loans were turning a profit for the U. S. government. We dug deeper still and learned that overall, the federal government was on track to make about $174 billion in profits on its student loan portfolio. That's $174 billion. Off the backs of a bunch of young people who had to borrow money to make it through school. Oh, Lord.

The way I looked at it, that $174 billion was basically an extra tax on kids who go to college but whose parents can't afford to write a check for it.

Giant banks pay less than 1 percent interest.

While students were paying 6 percent, 8 percent, or higher on their student loans.

Source: This Fight is Our Fight, by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, p.121-3 , Apr 18, 2017

Preserve Head Start and school lunch programs

Elizabeth started her career teaching special-needs kids in a public elementary school. She believes the achievement gap can be closed only by improving and supporting education from pre-K to college. She will fight to preserve Head Start & school lunch programs, work with teachers and parents to improve schools, encourage elementary and middle school mentoring programs, prioritize advanced technical training programs, and support high school-to-community-college pipelines.
Source: 2016 Veepstakes: campaign website ElizabethWarren.com , Jul 2, 2016

Invest in public education & universal preschool

America's middle class was built through investments in education, infrastructure, and research--and by making sure we all have a safety net. We need to strengthen those building blocks: Step up investments in public education. Rein in the cost of college and cut outstanding student loans. Create universal preschool and affordable child care.
Source: The Two Income Trap, by Elizabeth Warren, p.xxii , Apr 12, 2016

Give college students the same deal as corporations get

Let's give students the same great deal that the banks get. G.E. doesn't pay any taxes and we are asking college kids to take on even more debt to get an education, and asking seniors to get by on less. These aren't just economic questions. These are moral questions.
Source: Quotable Elizabeth Warren, by Frank Marshall, p. 25&58 , Nov 18, 2014

Allow refinancing student loans; it's a crushing $1.2T

Q: About this legislation you unveiled to allow people to refinance their student loans, which you say is now higher than either credit card debt or auto loan debt in this country. Already, Republicans said no way, no how. Senator Cornyn said it looks like just another way to raise taxes so is that it?

SEN. WARREN: No. So let's start by just reminding everybody what this is. Our young people are being crushed by student loan debt, $1.2 trillion in outstanding student loan debt, and it is exploding. In less than a decade, student loan debt has gone up 71% for the average amount that young people are borrowing. This is a crisis that now is not just affecting families that get hurt by it, it's affecting the whole economy.

Source: Face the Nation 2014 interview: 2016 presidential hopefuls , May 11, 2014

Bank on Students Act: reduce student loan interest rates

I didn't get the Bank on Students Act passed. But at least the final deal on student loan interest rates was better than where it started: $15 billion better for students over the next 10 years. And, in the end, I wasn't alone. More than a dozen senators from around the country stood up with me to say no to any deal in which the government makes a profit off the backs of our students. That's not a bad place to begin the next round in this battle--and, believe me, we will come back to this issue again.
Source: A Fighting Chance, by Elizabeth Warren, p.275-6 , Apr 22, 2014

Focus on public schools & public universities

Good public schools, good public universities, and good technical training can give us a workforce better than any in the world. Well-trained workers are cost effective, and they can give us a powerful competitive advantage in world markets. Investments in our people pay the highest dividends.
Source: 2012 Senate campaign website, www.elizabethwarren.com , Sep 15, 2011

Comprehensive sex ed for sexually-active adolescents.

Warren co-sponsored Real Education for Healthy Youth Act

Award competitive grants to provide adolescents with comprehensive sex education to:

  1. replicate evidence-based sex education programs,
  2. substantially incorporate elements of evidence-based sex education programs, or
  3. create a demonstration project based on generally accepted characteristics of effective sex education programs.
Prohibits federal funds provided under this Act from being used for health education programs that:
  1. deliberately withhold life-saving information about HIV;
  2. are medically inaccurate or have been scientifically shown to be ineffective;
  3. promote gender stereotypes;
  4. are insensitive and unresponsive to the needs of sexually active youth or lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender youth; or
  5. are inconsistent with the ethical imperatives of medicine and public health.

Opponent's argument against bill: (Nick Wing on Huffington Post) An abstinence-only effort, introduced the same day, the Abstinence Education Reallocation Act, stands as an effective counter to the Democratic-backed Real Education for Healthy Youth Act.

According to the text of the abstinence-only bill, sex education programs would need to be "medically accurate" and teach the "skills and benefits of sexual abstinence as the optimal sexual health behavior for youth" in order to qualify for grant money. The bill also calls for applicable programs to focus on the "holistic health, economic, and societal benefits that can be gained by refraining from non-marital sexual activity," as well as to provide an "understanding of how drugs, alcohol, and the irresponsible use of social media can influence sexual decision-making and can contribute to risky and often aggressive sexual behavior."

Source: H.R.725 / S.372 13-S0372 on Feb 14, 2013

Other candidates on Education: Elizabeth Warren on other issues:
2020 Presidential Democratic Primary Candidates:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Larry Hogan (D-MD)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 GOP and Independent Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (Libertarian-MI)
Howie Hawkins (Green-NY)
Gov.John Kasich (R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
CEO Howard Schultz (I-WA)
Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
V.C.Arvin Vohra (Libertarian-MD)
Gov.Bill Weld (R-MA&L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Candidates:
State Rep.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)