Double funding for Federal Charter School Program and require more accountability
"Will double funding for the Federal Charter School Program to support the creation of more successful charter schools. An Obama-Biden administration will provide this expanded charter school funding only to states that improve accountability for charter schools, allow for interventions in struggling charter schools and have a clear process for closing down chronically underperforming charter schools. An Obama-Biden administration will also prioritize supporting states that help the most successful charter schools to expand to serve more students."
Double funding for afterschool programs
"Will double funding for the main federal support for afterschool programs, the 21st Century Learning Centers program, to serve one million more children."
Create scholarships to recruit new teachers
"Will create new Teacher Service Scholarships that will cover four years of undergraduate or two years of graduate teacher education, including high-quality alternative programs for mid-career recruits in exchange for teaching for at least four years in a high-need field or location."
Regulate pollution from major livestock operations
"In the Obama Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency will strictly monitor and regulate pollution from large Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) - which raise more than 40 percent of U.S. livestock - with fines for those who violate tough air and water quality standards."
Urge states to treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws
As president, "will use the bully pulpit to urge states to treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws."
Sign the Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act into law
"Will sign the Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act into law and charge the Voting Rights Section with vigorously enforcing that law and the provisions of the Voting Rights Act. The act will will enable investigations into deceptive and fraudulent practices. It establishes significant, harsh penalties for those who have engaged in fraud, and it provides voters who have been misinformed with accurate and full information so they can vote."
Eliminate caps on damages for discrimination cases
Will sign into law the Equal Remedies Act of 2007 "to do away with the caps on compensatory and punitive damages under Title VII that presently impede the ability of victims of racial and gender discrimination to fully recover for the wrongs they have suffered."
Ban racial profiling by federal law enforcement agencies
"Will sign legislation that will ban the practice of racial profiling by federal law enforcement agencies and provide federal funding to state and local police departments if they adopt policies to prohibit the practice."
Allow bankruptcy judges to modify terms of a home mortgage
Will repeal provisions of the Chapter 13 law that prohibit bankruptcy judges from modifying the original terms of home mortgages for ordinary families -- regardless of whether the loan was predatory or unfair or is otherwise unaffordable -- "so that ordinary families can also get relief that bankruptcy laws were intended to provide."
Increase the supply of affordable housing throughout metropolitan regions
Will support "efforts to create an Affordable Housing Trust Fund to develop affordable housing in mixed-income neighborhoods. The Affordable Housing Trust Fund would use a small percentage of the profits of two government-sponsored housing agencies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to create thousands of new units of affordable housing every year...Will also restore cuts to public housing operating subsidies, and ensure that all Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs are restored to their original purpose."
Increase the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour
"Will further raise the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by 2011, index it to inflation and increase the Earned Income Tax Credit to make sure that full-time workers can earn a living wage that allows them to raise their families and pay for basic needs such as food, transportation, and housing."
Restore Superfund program so that polluters pay for clean-ups
"Will restore the strength of the Superfund program by requiring polluters to pay for the cleanup of contaminated sites they created."
Fully fund the COPS program
Will fully funding the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program "to combat crime and help address police brutality and accountability issues in local communities."
Support tax deduction for artists
Will "ensure tax fairness for artists" by supporting the Artist-Museum Partnership Act, introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. "The Act amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow artists to deduct the fair market value of their work, rather than just the costs of the materials, when they make charitable contributions."
Re-establish the National Aeronautics and Space Council
Will re-establish an organizational authority in the federal government with a sufficiently broad mandate to oversee a comprehensive and integrated strategy and policy dealing with all aspects of the government's space-related programs, including those being managed by NASA, the Department of Defense, the National Reconnaissance Office, the Commerce Department, the Transportation Department, and other federal agencies. This Council reporting to the president "will oversee and coordinate civilian, military, commercial and national security space activities. It will solicit public participation, engage the international community, and work toward a 21st century vision of space that constantly pushes the envelope on new technologies as it pursues a balanced national portfolio that expands our reach into the heavens and improves life here on Earth."
Support human mission to moon by 2020
Will "endorse the goal of sending human missions to the Moon by 2020, as a precursor in an orderly progression to missions to more distant destinations, including Mars."
Direct revenues from offshore oil and gas drilling to increased coastal hurricane protection
"Will also direct revenues from offshore oil and gas drilling to increased coastal hurricane protection."
Create a national catastrophe insurance reserve
"Will create a National Catastrophe Insurance Reserve that would be funded by private insurers contributing a portion of the premiums they collect from policyholders. Such a framework would neither distort the insurance market nor discourage risk avoidance and risk mitigation investments because insurers would not be forced out of high-risk markets for fear of bankruptcy in the event of a disaster. With this program in place, disaster victims would no longer have to depend solely on taxpayerfunded federal disaster aid loans."
Establish a Global Energy Corps to promote green energy in developing countries
"Will extend opportunities for older individuals such as teachers, engineers, and doctors to serve overseas. This effort will include a Global Energy Corps to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions overseas and promote low-carbon and affordable energy solutions in developing nations. One of this century's great challenges will be promoting the use of green energy in developing countries, which will face exponential increases in energy demand. This Corps will be composed of scientists and engineers who will work with local partners overseas."
Expand service-learning in schools
Will tie a plan to give schools a substantial infusion of funds to support teachers and principals and improve student learning to the condition that school districts develop programs to engage students in service opportunities. "Obama and Biden believe that middle and high school students should be expected to engage in community service for 50 hours annually during the school year or summer months. They will develop national guidelines for service-learning and community service programs, and will give schools better tools both to develop successful programs and to document the experience of students at all levels. They will encourage programs that engage with community partners to expand opportunities for community service and service-learning opportunities, so that students can apply what they learn in the classroom to authentic situations that help the community. These programs will also involve citizens from the community engaging students in service opportunities through the Classroom Corps."
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