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  • 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders participates in the She the People Presidential Forum in Houston, Texas, U.S. April 24, 2019.

    2020 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders participates in the She the People Presidential Forum in Houston, Texas, U.S. April 24, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 19 May 2019

The 10-point plan Sanders detailed in a speech in South Carolina aims to end racial disparities in the public education system. America's education policy debate has long been steeped in discussions of race and racial discrimination.

U.S. Senator and presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders  unveiled an education policy proposal on Saturday designed to pump billions of dollars into the public schools system and end the racial disparities. 

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Sanders presented this 10-point plan to a crowd of supportes in South Carolina on Saturday. "Every child has a right to a quality K-12 education, regardless of your race, regardless of your income, and regardless of your zip code," Sanders said in a statement on the proposal.

The presidential hopeful, who is facing more than 20 other politicians for the Democratic candidacy, has long opposed the racial disparities in the U.S. public school system. 

Sanders titled his new education proposal the "Thurgood Marshall Plan for Education," a nod to the Supreme Court justice who before being on the bench successfully argued the 1954 landmark Brown v. Board of Education case that desegregated public schools.

On Friday, the Sanders campaign previewed the portion of the proposal that would overhaul charter schools, the publicly-funded schools that operate independently of government oversight.

The remaining portion of his proposal covers everything from teacher pay to school lunches.

Sanders said he would push for funding to better integrate some schools. He also called for a federal funding minimum and moving away from using property taxes to pay for schools. Critics argue that using property taxes results in wealthy areas having better schools than more impoverished neighborhoods.

He wants to spend an additional $5 billion a year on summer school and after-school programs across the United States and also called for an increase in federal funding for programs for students with disabilities.

Teachers' salaries should be set at a minimum of $60,000 a year, Sanders said, and tied to regional cost of living. Schools should be required to provide free meals, breakfast, lunch and snacks to all students, he said.

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