Harris pledges billions for teacher salaries in Carson City appearance | NevadaAppeal.com

Harris pledges billions for teacher salaries in Carson City appearance

Senator Kamala Harris appears at Eagle Valley Middle School on Tuesday. With her is the head of the Nevada State Teachers Association, Ruben Murillo.
Geoff Dornan/Nevada Appeal

Sen. Kamala Harris of California, one of the first Democrats to announce a run for president next year, repeated her pledge Tuesday to pump billions in federal money into teacher salaries nationwide.

She told a group of two dozen teachers gathered at Eagle Valley Middle School library when people ask about the money, they should be told to look instead at the “return on investment” that would create.

“For the first time, our nation will actually make a federal investment in teachers but it will be an investment in teacher pay,” she said ”I’m proposing the federal government make a substantial investment.”

She said nationwide, teacher pay is an average of $13,500 behind other professionals with similar educations. In Nevada, she said it’s $15,000.

“That’s the equivalent of a year’s worth of mortgage payments; a year’s worth of food,” she said. “This is one of the most critical issues and one we have the ability to fix.”

Asked whether teachers should be evaluated by student test scores, Harris said at this point the nation can’t even get to that question, “until teachers have the resources they need.”

Harris took a few questions from the press before the roundtable with teachers.

She said she’s “aligned with Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto” on that issue when it comes to Yucca Mountain.

“I believe there are real serious problems with that,” she said referring to the waste dump.

As for Trump cutting off aid to some Latin American countries, she said, “there’s no question this has been a crisis of the president’s own making.”

“He has been vilifying immigrants,” she said. “The wall is nothing more than a vanity project for this president.”

“There’s no question one of the biggest questions Americans have right now is access to healthcare,” she said. “Healthcare should be a right.”

She said she believes in Medicare for all.

“No family or person should be denied access to the healthcare they need because they don’t have enough money in their back pocket.”

Harris spent the day in Northern Nevada starting with a meet and greet with Washoe Democrats followed by the Carson roundtable, a meeting with Gov. Steve Sisolak and a speech at the evening meeting of Battle Born Progress.