What Educators Want to Ask Presidential Candidates

As the presidential debates begin to heat up, we asked educators what they would ask the presidential candidates. Here’s what’s on their minds:

Their kids are coming to school hungry.

“How will you help end, this year, food scarcity…specifically, food for kids during the summer when they cannot access free meals at the schools?” – First Book Educator, Illinois

“There is a large portion of my students for whom access to healthy foods is [not easily accessible]. How would you address the growing community of food insecure children?” – First Book Educator, Illinois

Their kids are homeless.

“Do you know how many kids experience homelessness in the US every year and how it impacts their education?” – Catherine Meek, First Book Educator, California

“Day to day, we see students throwing away food and milk they are made to take, but don’t want. People are homeless and in need of food, other students want more to eat, but the students are not allowed to share their food, yet we see closed milk cartons, untouched fruits, unopened packaged items, and other untouched food items thrown away at an alarming rate. Can you address this concern?” – First Book Educator, Texas

Their kids aren’t getting a good—or even average—education because of disproportionate funding.

“How would you ensure Educational Equity for all students and make sure that students rights are not violated when it comes to class sizes, educational instructions, educational resources, Teacher-student ration, Special Education, and holding fiscal groups accountable on parents’ awareness of funds allocated to schools and how it is distributed? Zip Codes should not determine the funding school gets they should all get the same baseline. Teachers shouldn’t have to buy classroom materials with out of pocket funds. Every child, every student has a right to a fair and sound education under the Educational Right Equity Law and the constitution. How will you ensure that principals, superintendents, the mayors, and governors report how money funded to the schools are allocated as they should be? Columbia University and Adelaide Institute have a parent Ambassador Team that is working on educating the Parents about their child’s educational rights.” – Medge-Lee Noel, First Book Educator, New York

Schools need reform.

“As a high school teacher teaching at a title one school, I see the school’s role changing from simple educators to partners in raising these children – where the school is becoming, more and more, the center of the community serving the students’ needs way beyond the regular school hours. I want to know what the Presidential candidates plan to do to change the way in which schools are funded because although it is up to each state to make these decisions, clearly this system is failing, and it is failing our students as well. What will they do to change the culture in this country toward our education system? What will they do to change the culture in this country, where educators are revered instead of blamed, where education is the first priority instead of an afterthought, where our students’ mental wellbeing is imperative to success instead of test scores?” – Sarah Spleiss, First Book Educator, Minnesota

“How will you bring equity to educational opportunities for all American children? Education funding is woefully inadequate. Schools funded through levy do not provide equal opportunities to all children.” – First Book Educator, Ohio

Everything ties back to child poverty.

It’s been 20 years since child poverty was addressed in a presidential debate, but a child is born into poverty every minute in this country. This is why we’re supporting Children’s Defense Fund‘s call for a child poverty question in the next presidential debate.

Everyone deserves a voice. Please sign the petition today.