Education is the most important issue we are facing as a county. If you want to know how to fight poverty, the answer is Education. How do you fight crime? Education. How do you grow the economy, sustainably, over the long term? Education.
Any funds that can be freed up for new programming need to go to early childhood education. All the research says that is where the opportunity is. We are losing most of the kids we lose before the age of 3. It is also economically debilitating to a single mother (or father) who has to raise her child alone for 4 years. It is nearly impossible to reenter the workplace if you do not have a high school diploma, and you have no work history for that long a time period.
The answer is free early childhood education and daycare. That includes a component where the parents can be in the same building as their kids, get basic job training, and get training on how to be a day care assistant (which happens to double as training on how to be a good parent). Then the parents can help run the day care once they are certified, get job training, and spend time with their own children.
Tough challenges require innovative solutions. I will support innovation when elected as your County Commissioner.