Kamala Harris Calls for U.S. Spending Hike to Boost Teacher Pay

Sahil Kapur
Kamala Harris Calls for U.S. Spending Hike to Boost Teacher Pay

(Bloomberg) -- Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris will call Saturday for the largest federal investment in teacher pay in U.S. history, staking her claim to a cause backed by an influential Democratic-leaning constituency.

The California senator will tell the Texas Southern University College Democrats in Houston that she’d seek to fully close the pay gap for public school teachers in her first term as president, according to a campaign aide who wasn’t authorized to discuss the plan publicly.

Harris’s campaign cited a study by the progressive-leaning Economic Policy Institute that found that elementary, middle, and secondary public school teachers earn 11.1 percent less than similar college graduates, even after accounting for benefits, according to 2017 data.

The candidate’s call comes amid a flurry of policy ideas from a large Democratic presidential field aimed at mitigating rising inequality and expanding the safety net. Many contenders are throwing caution to the wind as they appeal to a party base that appears hungry for transformative changes to federal policy.

The Harris aide didn’t provide further details but said the full policy plan will be released next week.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sahil Kapur in Washington at skapur39@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Ros Krasny, Matthew G. Miller

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