Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Angelides and Education

I've already discussed some of the highlights of Phil Angelides' positions on the environment and development. I'll take a little time now to discuss education, an issue that is really important to me.

There is way too much on his main education page so I'll just chose some of the things I think are cool. I'll start with what he has already done as treasurer. The California Teachers Association notes that
he created the Extra Credit Teacher Home Purchase Program to provide low-interest home loans and down-payment assistance to teachers making a commitment to work in schools considered the toughest places to teach.
You can find more about the program here.

In 1999, Angelides launched the program Scholar Share which helps people save for college. He was an early advocate of making the program tax-free, which happened in 2002. This is the sort of leadership that California can use.

All well and good, but what does he plan on doing if elected? One thing I find exciting is his California Tomorrow Fellowships:
In the report Rising Above the Gathering Storm, the National Academies panel recommended a national program of 100,000 scholarships to draw more students into science, engineering, and mathematics. But it is clear that California cannot wait for the Bush administration and Congress to act on the panel's recommendation. As Governor, Phil Angelides will create a program to award California Tomorrow Fellowships to as many as 10,000 California residents a year who are pursuing an undergraduate degree in science, mathematics, or engineering. The California Tomorrow Fellowships will provide up to $10,000 per recipient for eligible expenses (tuition, fees, books, laboratory fees) not covered by financial aid the student otherwise receives based on need.
If you've read some of my articles in The Stanford Progressive, you'll note that I'm a little obsessed with preparing for the future. This is a great way to do that.

I won't belabor his position on education much further--you can find out more on his main education page--but I want to emphasize something that is kinda small but very personal to me. That is his plan to double the number of counselors. As a high school student, I was told by a counselor that I didn't have the background to take the AP Calculus course. As things turned out, my math teachers told me not to listen and, in my last year of high school, I ended up writing tests for that very same class. That whole experience has emphasized, to me, the importance of having counselors who have time to really spend time helping students succeed.

As you can see, Phil has a proven record as a leader and has encouraging proposals to enhance educational opportunities. This is really important to me and one of the biggest reasons I feel comfortable supporting him.


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