MSNBC to host December forum on education issues with 2020 Democrats

Candidates have released ambitious proposals to reshape the American school system — from free public college to erasing student debt.
Image: Senator Amy Klobuchar, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senator Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders arrive onstage during the U.S. Democratic presidential candidates debate at the Tyler Perry Studios in Atla
Senator Amy Klobuchar, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senator Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders arrive onstage during the U.S. Democratic presidential candidates debate at the Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta on Nov. 20, 2019.Brendan McDermid / Reuters file

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By Dartunorro Clark

The 2020 Democratic field is going back to school — sort of.

Teachers unions, students, parents and civil rights groups are expected to grill Democratic hopefuls on public education issues at MSNBC's "Public Education Forum 2020: Equity and Justice for All" on Dec. 14 in Pittsburgh, it was announced Tuesday.

The candidates who are expected to attend include: Former Vice President Joe Biden; Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana; billionaire businessman Tom Steyer; and Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. The network said that presidential candidates who either previously qualified for the October debate or currently hold statewide office were invited to attend.

Many of the 2020 candidates have released ambitious proposals to reshape the American education system — from free public college to erasing student debt to addressing segregation in schools — but have squabbled over the best way to implement their proposals.

MSNBC will moderate and exclusively livestream the forum. Ali Velshi, host of "MSNBC Live," and Rehema Ellis, an NBC News education correspondent, will serve as the forum's moderators. Topics will include early childhood education, school investment, student debt and disparities in public education, among other issues.

The event will be streamed live on NBC News Now, MSNBC.com and NBC News Learn, and will be featured across MSNBC programming.