Kamala Harris Makes Teachers a Big Promise

The 2020 candidate focuses on a core constituency
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2019 12:46 PM CDT
In this March 1, 2019, file photo, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks at the Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

(Newser) – Sen. Kamala Harris wants to show teachers some love. The presidential candidate announced Tuesday a $315 billion plan to raise the average public-school teachers' pay by $13,500, the Wall Street Journal reports. "Right now, teachers are making over 10% less than other college-educated graduates, and that gap is about $13,000 a year," says the California senator. "I am pledging to you, through the federal resources that are available, we will close that gap.”

Her plan centers on raising the estate tax, which has been shrinking for nearly 20 years and had its exemption roughly doubled in 2017. Her campaign says the federal government would fill 10% of the pay gap and then offer $3 for every $1 a state throws in until the goal is reached, per Bloomberg. The move should play well to teachers—a Democratic Party core constituency—who have "roiled the nation" by striking for better pay over the past year, notes the New York Times. (Read more Kamala Harris stories.)

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