Education is a personal right in a democratic society.
Question: How will you ensure that our students can compete in a global economy?
Dennis Kucinich: Education is in and of itself a personal benefit – a personal right, actually, that people have in a democratic society. And so before we get into a discussion of benefits, let’s talk about education as a right. Each person in a democratic society has a right from the earliest age – let’s say age three – all the way through and including college to have a fully funded, paid education. This should be one of the foundational purposes of government. Now when a child has the chance from the earliest age to learn languages, to learn English, communication skills, they then become able to participate in a community. And as young people grow, that community keeps expanding from this . . . from the village, to the city, to the world. We need to have our young people the best educated in science, in language, in the arts, in music, in literature, technology. I mean there’s so many different areas of human endeavor that our children should have the chance to excel in. But you know what? Check out the cost of tuition in Iowa, my friends. Ask yourself how many families are being excluded from having their young people being able to go to school because they just can’t afford it. And then let’s talk about the world economy.
Recorded on: 10/19/07