Inslee for America
For Immediate Release:
Friday July 5, 2019

Inslee Releases Education Plan to Invest in American Teachers and Students

Houston, TX – Governor Jay Inslee released his “Ready for the Future” plan today, a roadmap to ensure America’s public schools offer opportunity for every student by investing in schools, teachers, and evidence-based programs. 
Inslee’s plan undoes the massive damage caused by Trump and Betsy DeVos, while moving forward with new, innovative policies that prepare our education system for the 21st century – including universal preschool, free or reduced college tuition programs, critical investments in STEM and school infrastructure, an unprecedented emphasis on physical and mental health, and significant moves to empower teachers in the classroom.
“A child’s neighborhood or financial situation should not determine their educational potential,” Governor Inslee said. “Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos have deliberately targeted our public schools – cutting funding, arming teachers, and enabling discrimination. As president, I will put an immediate end to these disgraceful policies. We need to be empowering teachers and students to thrive. This means leveling the playing field for all kids with universal preschool, giving students the education they need to succeed in the 21st century, and making sure every child can afford to go to college and pursue their dreams.” 
Inslee’s record of educational accomplishment is unmatched in the 2020 field. Under Inslee’s leadership, Washington state has invested billions in K-12 education; seen the highest average increase in public school teacher pay (31%) in the 2018-2019 school year; funded all-day kindergarten and reduced K-3 class sizes; provided free-and-low-cost public college to 110,000 Washingtonians from families in need; and expanded access to early childhood education for 48,000 Washington children. 
Building on his work in Washington state, Inslee’s plan will support local educators and communities with the resources they need to best educate America’s children, investing in lifelong learning, prioritizing climate change throughout the education system, and making higher education affordable for everyone so that people can obtain the skills they need to pursue their dreams and work in the country’s fastest-growing fields.  
Inslee's plan includes:
  • Creating universal preschool through age four, and providing support and incentives to help states fully fund all-day kindergarten
  • Helping states fund pay increases for teachers and other school staff, including targeted investments to attract and retain talented and diverse educators in high-need districts
  • Proposing legislation to provide free and low-cost public college for students from low and middle-income families, built off the model of the Washington College Grant that provides free and low-cost tuition to 110,000 Washington students.
  • Creating and expanding new career ladders through apprenticeships and skills training
  • Retrofitting every American school building within 10 years
  • Increasing investment in STEM education and climate change education, including expanding by a factor of 5 the federal funding commitment for K-12 computer science education around the country
  • Fully funding the federal Title I program
  • Implementing the Equity in IDEA rule, and fully funding the federal government’s 40% commitment to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
  • Recommitting the federal government to integration of schools by eliminating rules that penalize districts for efforts to desegregate through use of Title I funds, removing anti-integration riders from the appropriations process that prevent integration of districts using school transportation such as Section 426 of the General Education Provision Act
  • Ending the diversion of federal funds towards new private charter schools.
  • Taking executive action to reverse the Trump Administration’s proposed restrictions on access to the National School Lunch Program and SNAP
  • Provide federal financing to support state and local governments transitioning to zero-emission bus fleets for school buses.
  • Reversing the Trump/DeVos rules that would weaken schools’ obligation to investigate and take action amid accusations of sexual assault
  • Undoing Secretary DeVos’ actions on borrower defense and gainful employment with respect to for-profit colleges.
  • Proposing a ban on the expenditure of federal funds for the purpose of arming teachers or providing training for the use of firearms for school safety purposes
  • Expanding pipelines for bilingual educator training

Inslee’s plan received praise from education leaders on Friday, including American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten who said, “Gov. Inslee has crafted a smart, detailed and ambitious plan to fund the future of public education in this country. Jay gets it – he knows schools and colleges provide the sound footing to ensure the next generation is better off than ourselves. And he understands it takes resources, a laser focus on climate and treating teachers as the key to the future.

“This plan builds on the governor’s robust track record by boosting funds for Pre-K, early childhood education and career and technical education, while tackling student debt and ending the siphoning of public funds to charters. He helps pay for it by removing the president’s damaging SALT cap to build supports for children at all levels. Teachers want what children need and teachers in Washington State proudly earn a living wage as a result of Jay’s willingness to work with us. That open relationship is vital for any presidential candidate who cares about kids.

“The governor also knows that schools and teachers can be the guardians of our planet. We can mitigate the climate crisis through the rebuilding of green buildings and making school buses emissions free. Bold investments will ensure a just transition to a sustainable economy, and the next generation of leaders will have the knowledge and skills to stop climate change in its tracks. The AFT is proud to support Gov. Inslee’s important vision for teaching and learning and we commend him on this comprehensive blueprint on how to get there.”

Inslee will share the details of his plan at the National Education Association’s #StrongPublicSchools Presidential Forum later today, discussing how he will empower students and invest in schools in front of nearly 7,000 educators. Details of the event follow below:


Houston, Texas - Friday, July 5th
WHAT: National Education Association’s #StrongPublicSchools Presidential Forum
WHERE: George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida De Las Americas, Houston, TX, 77010 
WHEN: 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM CT on Friday, July 5th
WHO: Washington Governor Jay Inslee
NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia
Nearly 7,000 educators