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Democrat Inslee ties climate change into 2020 education plan

By Clyde Hughes
Democrat Inslee ties climate change into 2020 education plan
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is introduced June 26 at the start of the first night of the Democratic debates in Miami, Fla. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

July 5 (UPI) -- Democratic presidential candidate Jay Inslee, who has made climate change the major issue in his campaign, said Friday he will incorporate the issue into his education plan.

Inslee's plan will increase investment in science, technology, engineering and math and climate change education from elementary through high school. The proposal would create a "Climate Conservation Corps" to provide service opportunities through education, job training and employment connected with a clean energy economy.

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Included in Inslee's plan is a proposal to retrofit every U.S. school building to make them environmentally friendly within the first decade. He said the move is needed for students to learn safety and effectively.

The Washington governor said he will also make additional investments in institutions that serve racial minorities and expand training for apprenticeship and skills. Inslee said he also plans legislation to provide free and low-cost public college for low and middle-income students -- modeled after Washington College Grant, which was created by the Washington state legislature this year. That program has provided free and low-cost tuition to 110,000 Washington students so far, the campaign said.

RELATED Jay Inslee unveils 5-point plan to fight climate change

Inslee's proposal does not address college student debt in the way plans by fellow candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren do. Sanders' plan calls for eliminating all $1.6 trillion in current student debt, and Warren's wipes out $1.3 trillion worth and ends tuition at public colleges.

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In his announcement Friday, Inslee called President Donald Trump "the worst president for public education in modern American history," and said no education secretary has done more to undermine equal opportunities in education than Betsy DeVos.

Inslee did not give a preliminary estimate for the cost of his plan.

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