Transcript: Sen. Bernie Sanders’s speech at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics on April 12, 2014 – Part 8

Part 8 – Partial transcript of remarks by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics on April 12, 2014:

I said a word before about education. I’ll just add a few words to that.

Education is what life is about. Education is what life is about if you’re 90 and it’s what life is about when you’re old.

Every psychologist who has studied the issue – not a debate anymore – understands that the most important formative years of a human being’s life are 0 to 4, and every psychologist who has written about the issue understands that if kids at that age get the emotional and intellectual nourishment that they need, they would do much better than if that was not the case.

And yet, despite all of that knowledge, today in New Hampshire, today in Vermont, today all over America, millions of working families are struggling to find affordable, quality child care, and they can’t do it because it’s just too expensive, and the result is that millions of kids have inadequate child care or pre-school education.

And the great disgrace is we are paying our child care workers minimum wages in many cases – low wages without benefits. What kind of priority is that when we entrust little kids’ lives to these folks and we don’t give them the training, we don’t give them the income, we don’t give them the benefits they need to make that into the kind of important career it should be. [Applause]

And I think maybe we might learn something in terms of education from countries like Germany, Denmark, Finland, Sweden. And you know what they say – and they have said it for a very long time in other countries – they have said that in a competitive global economy they understand they need the best educated workforce possible. And what they understand is that it is insane, that it is self-destructive to say to working class kids, “Well, sorry, you may be really smart. You may be really energetic. But guess what? You can’t afford to go to college. That’s the way it is. Or if you do go to college, you’re going to come out $50,000 in debt.”

Maybe we can learn something from countries all over the world who say that you will get a college education without costs regardless of what your income is. [Applause]

And just think – think of what that means to kids here in Manchester, Vermont, in Manchester, New Hampshire, and Manchesters all over the country when kids who are in the fifth or sixth grade know and have been told that if they do well in school, if they studied, they are going to be able to go to college, they are going to be able to make it into the middle-class. Just doing that can transform education for all over this country.

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