Back-to-school season has been a big deal in my life — that’s just how it is when you’re a teacher.
At the same time I’d send my own kids off with backpacks and fresh supplies, I’d get ready to welcome new faces to my classroom.
For decades, no matter whether I was teaching contracts or bankruptcy law, it felt like a victory every time I saw the click! as a student grasped a really hard idea.
Over the years, I’ve come to see every back-to-school season as a fresh start and a second chance.
My first second chance came after I dropped out of college at 19 to get married. It came in the form of the University of Houston, a commuter college that cost just $50 a semester. I got my degree and landed my first teaching job, at a public school.
But it wasn’t all smooth sailing after that. With baby on hip, I went back to school at Rutgers Law. And later when I was ready to quit teaching law because I couldn’t find good childcare, my Aunt Bee gave me the help I needed to stay in the classroom.
Each time I stepped back on campus, my world got a little bigger and the possibilities open to me got a little wider. That’s what this time of year is all about. And that’s why I’m in this fight for our young people’s futures.
At town halls, I still look into people’s faces in the audience to see that click! of someone realizing we have a plan that will actually work — to make sure everyone has a fighting chance to get the education they need, without getting crushed by debt. It’s why we’re barnstorming the country to make the case for Universal Child Care, student loan debt cancellation, free two-year and four-year public college and technical school, and more.
And at a campaign stop in New York, a public school teacher named Liat had a terrific idea that we’ve turned into a formal pledge: In a Warren administration, our Secretary of Education will be a former public school teacher. They’ll be someone who’s gotten ready to welcome kids back into the classroom, who’s probably had to pay for the supplies that their students need out of their own pocket, and who knows in their bones why we need to invest in public education.
This year, I won’t be in the classroom getting ready for the new school year. But you and I are still getting in gear for something powerfully important.
We’re fighting for big, structural change to build a brighter future for every kid, every student, and everyone looking for a second chance. But it’s only possible if we keep growing our grassroots movement. As we get ready for a packed schedule and a busy fall, will you chip in for the first time to help take this campaign to the next level?
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Thanks for being a part of this,