Education - Dr. Kathie Allen for Utah Senate Education - Dr. Kathie Allen for Utah Senate

Education

Education Funding

Our democracy cannot grow stronger without an educated public. Critical thinking skills should be taught from an early age. Public education should expose students to a variety of views, which will help them communicate civilly and respectfully later in life. We can’t afford to weaken public school funding with voucher systems. We cannot afford Secretaries of Education like Betsy DeVos.

I support free or minimal-cost education in public schools, at least through junior college. America can easily fund this by closing up holes in the underground economy or placing a very small tax on each Wall Street transaction. Under no circumstances should predatory for-profit schools be allowed to continue bilking students for worthless courses.

Although the recruitment and retention of qualified teachers is a state issue, we should consider using federal resources to help where possible.

Trade Programs

Seventy-five percent of the jobs in our current economy are in the trades and crafts. Let’s put shop classes and other practical, hands-on courses back in high schools. Every high school graduate should know how to pay taxes, balance a checkbook, and vote. I would also like to see labor union apprenticeships set up on college campuses so that students could learn a practical trade and begin earning revenue while pursuing a traditional liberal arts or science degree.

Student Debt

Student debt is crippling millennials’ opportunities. The current interest rates on student loans are too high. As your congresswoman, I will work to bring them down—and allow students and graduates who already have loans to refinance them at the new, lower rate, or obtain debt forgiveness. I will work to hold unethical lenders accountable for their predatory business practices.

The Arts

I wholeheartedly support the arts. They feed and nourish us, especially at times when we are collectively stressed. They uplift us as individuals and propel our culture to examine and improve itself. Programs like the National Endowment for the Arts, public broadcasting, and public radio provide valuable public services and should continue to be funded. They are well worth the small amount of money the federal government spends on them.

Some scientific studies show that children exposed to music have enhanced intellectual development. All children should have this opportunity, not just those in “arts-focused” charter schools.

Sex Education

As a family doctor, I look at the facts to determine what works. And the facts about sex education are clear: comprehensive sex ed programs result in fewer teen pregnancies, fewer STDs among teens, and fewer teens having sex—especially when compared to abstinence-only programs.

Adolescent brains are still developing, and the cortices that evaluate risk and control impulsiveness are some of the last ones to mature. Abstinence-only programs ignore this basic reality, which every teen’s parents know firsthand.

Education about human sexuality, pregnancy prevention, and the prevention of sexually transmitted infections should be offered in a medically accurate and age-appropriate manner. A sound educational program combines parent-led discussions with science-based materials to help students understand their sexuality.