Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Friday that he was committed to an investment of $100 billion to improve school infrastructure across the country.
Speaking at the National Education Association forum in Houston, the former vice president said "the infrastructure of our schools are horrible" – and emphasized that he would focus these investments in lower-income communities.
Biden said he would seek to spend another $100 billion to support teachers in lower-income neighborhoods who act as mentors to their colleagues. Biden said he hoped the investment would allow teachers to solely focus on their teaching, not on working multiple jobs.
"Because folks, we have to have you in the schools, teaching, teaching, teaching," he said. "You shouldn't be doing three jobs or two jobs."
Referencing the education plan he debuted in May, Biden reiterated his intention to equalize teacher's pay, provide professional mental health advisers and sociologists, and to promote a universal pre-K program to equalize the playing field for all students.
"What I don't get is why we're even arguing about this anymore," he said about implementing universal pre-K programs. "All the data is in. There's overwhelming evidence that it enhances every single community if we do it."
In his May education plan, Biden also said he would triple funding to Title I schools from $15 million to $45 million and push gun legislation that would "ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines."
Biden, the Democratic front-runner, has slipped in the polls after rival Sen. Kamala Harris put him on the defensive over his record on racial issues. A recent Quinnipiac poll showed that his support dropped to 22% from 30% the previous month.