Elizabeth Warren on Education

Massachusetts Senator; former head of CFPB; Dem. Presidential Challenger


We have an obligation to treat our teachers better

We've known for a long time that jobs that are predominantly held by women just don't simply pay as much as jobs that are predominantly held by men. This is a part of the inherent sexism in the system. We have an obligation to treat our teachers better. I meet public school teachers who are working second and third jobs just to try to hold it together. I understand, teaching is a calling. If you treat people with respect, that means you pay them commensurate with the education that they have.
Source: CNN Town Hall on eve of 2020 South Carolina primary , Feb 26, 2020

My secretary of education will be a public school teacher

I will have a secretary of education who has been a public school teacher. I will have a secretary of education who believes in public education. I will have a secretary of education who understands that public dollars should stay in public schools. It is time for us to acknowledge that the financing of public education simply cannot be done solely at the local and state level. I have proposed a two-cent wealth tax that would permit us to put $800 billion new dollars into our public schools.

Americans need a government on their side that's not just a debt collector on student loans. They need a government that says, "I believe in your education." I'm going to cancel the student loan debt so you can actually get a start in life, so you can actually get out there and try a different job, so you can move out of your mom's basement, so you can save up some money to buy a car, so you can start a small business, because I believe in you. I want to invest in you.

Source: CNN N. H. Town Hall on eve of 2020 N. H. primary , Feb 5, 2020

Student loan debt is worse for African-Americans

Senator Harris raised the question of economic justice. Let me give a specific example. African-Americans are more likely to borrow money to go to college, and have a harder time paying that debt off after they get out. Whites who borrowed money, 94 percent of them have paid off their student loan debt, 5 percent of African-Americans have paid it off. That means everyone on this stage should be embracing student loan debt forgiveness. It will help close the black-white wealth gap.
Source: November Democratic primary debate in Atlanta , Nov 20, 2019

Secretary of Ed should enforce civil rights and value all

Q: What do you think schools need to do better to make sure that I don't have to worry about anything but my homework?

WARREN: I want to have a secretary of education who believes in public education and believes in the value of every one of our kids and is willing to enforce our civil rights laws.

Source: CNN LGBT Town Hall 2020 , Oct 10, 2019

Supported all-voucher system for public schools in 2003 book

In her 2003 book, The Two Income Trap, for example, she rejects a "quasi-socialist safety net to rival the European model" and proposes a market-driven approach to education in which public schools would compete for state funding through an "all-voucher system." To quote Warren: "Parents' competitive energies could be channeled toward signing up early or improving their children's qualifications for a certain school."
Source: Jacobin magazine on 2019 Democratic primary , Sep 25, 2019

Universal tuition-free college plus more for HBCUs

I have a plan on education that says we have to build a better education system for all our kids, but we've got to acknowledge what's happened on race. So my plan has universal, tuition-free college for all of our kids, but also increases the Pell Grants and levels the playing field by putting $50 billion into historically black colleges and universities. It cancels student loan debt for 95% of the kids with student loan debt and helps close the black-white wealth gap in America.
Source: July Democratic Primary debate (first night in Detroit) , Jul 30, 2019

Childhood career goal was teacher

Born Elizabeth Anne Herren in June 1949, Warren decided very early on that she was going to be a teacher and has talked about how even when she was in 2nd grade, she knew that women in Oklahoma City usually became one of two things: nurses or teachers. Warren herself chose the latter, and even as a child she was busy lining her dolls up for pretend classes instead of having tea parties.

Warren married Jim Warren in 1968. She had two children and moved to Houston to walk her path as an academician.

Source: The Democrats, by Alexander Moore, p.118-20 , Jul 9, 2019

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

Promote student loan discounts without prolonging payments

Still paying off that degree in medieval history/ Many student loan issuers will give you a discount if you are careful to pay on time, or if you authorize monthly transfers from your bank account. For example, Sallie Mae (the nation's largest issuer of student loans) will slice 2 percentage points off the interest rate on certain loans if you have made your payments on time for the past two years. Ask your student loan issuer if you can qualify for any discounts; it is worth a phone call. But watch out for private banks that offer to consolidate your student loans; they may lower your monthly payment, but usually at the cost of keeping you in debt longer than necessary. The goal is to get a cheaper interest rate without prolonging your payments.
Source: All Your Worth, by Elizabeth Warren, p. 80 , Jan 17, 2006

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:

MA politicians
MA Archives
Senate races 2024:
AZ: Kyrsten Sinema(I,incumbent)
vs.Ruben Gallego(D)
vs.Kari Lake(R)
vs.Mark Lamb(R)
CA: Laphonza Butler(D,retiring)
vs.Gail Lightfoot(L)
vs.Steve Garvey(R)
vs.Barbara Lee(D)
vs.Katie Porter(D)
vs.Adam Schiff(D)
CT: Chris Murphy(D,incumbent)
vs.Robert Hyde(R)
DE: Tom Carper(D,retiring)
vs.Eric Hansen(R)
vs.Michael Katz(I)
vs.Lisa Blunt Rochester(D)
FL: Rick Scott(R,incumbent)
vs.Debbie Mucarsel-Powell(D)
HI: Mazie Hirono(D,incumbent)
vs.Bob McDermott(R)
IN: Mike Braun(R,retiring)
vs.Marc Carmichael(D)
vs.Jim Banks(R)
MA: Elizabeth Warren(D,incumbent)
vs.Shiva Ayyadurai(R)
vs.John Deaton(R)
MD: Ben Cardin(D,retiring)
vs.Larry Hogan(R)
vs.Robin Ficker(R)
vs.Angela Alsobrooks(D)
vs.David Trone(D)
ME: Angus King(I,incumbent)
vs.Demi Kouzounas(R)
vs.David Costello(D)
MI: Debbie Stabenow(D,retiring)
vs.Leslie Love(D)
vs.Peter Meijer(R)
vs.James Craig(R)
vs.Mike Rogers(R)
vs.Elissa Slotkin(D)
MN: Amy Klobuchar(DFL,incumbent)
vs.Royce White(R)
vs.Steve Carlson(DFL)
MO: Josh Hawley(R,incumbent)
vs.Karla May(D)
vs.Lucas Kunce(D)
MS: Roger Wicker(R,incumbent)
vs.Dan Eubanks(R)
vs.Ty Pinkins(D)
MT: Jon Tester(D,incumbent)
vs.Tim Sheehy(R)
vs.Brad Johnson(R,lost primary)
ND: Kevin Cramer(R,incumbent)
vs.Katrina Christiansen(D)

NE: Peter Ricketts(R,incumbent,2-year seat)
vs.Preston Love(D)
Deb Fischer(D,incumbent,6-year seat)
vs.Dan Osborn(I)
NJ: Bob Menendez(I,incumbent)
vs.Andy Kim(D)
vs.Curtis Bashaw(R)
vs.Tammy Murphy(D,withdrew)
NM: Martin Heinrich(D,incumbent)
vs.Nella Domenici(R)
NV: Jacky Rosen(D,incumbent)
vs.Jim Marchant (R)
vs.Sam Brown(R)
NY: Kirsten Gillibrand(D,incumbent)
vs.Mike Sapraicone(R)
vs.Josh Eisen(R,withdrew May 1)
OH: Sherrod Brown(D,incumbent)
vs.Frank LaRose(R)
vs.Bernie Moreno(R)
PA: Bob Casey(D,incumbent)
vs.David McCormick(R)
RI: Sheldon Whitehouse(D,incumbent)
vs.Patricia Morgan(R)
vs.Allen Waters(R,withdrew)
TN: Marsha Blackburn(R,incumbent)
vs.Gloria Johnson(D)
vs.Marquita Bradshaw(D)
TX: Ted Cruz(R,incumbent)
vs.Colin Allred(D)
vs.Roland Gutierrez(D,lost primary)
vs.Carl Sherman(D,lost primary)
UT: Mitt Romney(R,retiring)
vs.John Curtis(R)
vs.Trent Staggs(R)
vs.Brad Wilson(R)
vs.Caroline Gleich(D)
VA: Tim Kaine(D,incumbent)
vs.Scott Parkinson(R)
VT: Bernie Sanders(I,incumbent)
vs.Gerald Malloy(R)
WA: Maria Cantwell(D,incumbent)
vs.Raul Garcia(R)
WI: Tammy Baldwin(D,incumbent)
vs.Eric Hovde(R)
vs.Phil Anderson(L)
WV: Joe Manchin III(D,retiring)
vs.Don Blankenship(D)
vs.Jim Justice(R)
vs.Alex Mooney(R)
vs.Glenn Elliott(D)
WY: John Barrasso(R,incumbent)
vs.Reid Rasner(R)
vs.Scott Morrow(D)
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform

Other Senators
Senate Votes (analysis)
Bill Sponsorships
Policy Reports
Group Ratings

Page last updated: Jun 09, 2024; copyright 1999-2022 Jesse Gordon and OnTheIssues.org