Education Issue Update: School ‘n’ the Candidates

Education is high on the young voters agenda. Where they’ve been, where they’re going, and how much it’s going to cost to get there. In order to make the right vote for you, it must be an informed vote. Here’s some info that might help:

  • Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have very different views on how to improve public education. Romney wants to give parents and children the option of attending any sort of school they want, via a “voucher” system. Additionally, he wants to link pay to performance rather than seniority. Obama emphasizes the need for smaller class sizes. In order to get there, it may include more involvement from the federal government to work with governors, school systems, and teachers, another point of conflict.
  • During his time in office, President Obama has raised the amount of aid given to students through Pell Grants to over $5,000. Obama has also stated that he intends to keep the interest rates on all student loans low. He’s currently campaigning to support the undervalued community college education system as a place for students to start their education, go back to school, and generally train the next generation of workers. Despite these efforts, throughout his presidency the pricetag on higher education has ballooned. This summer, Mitt Romney addressed a group of students and vowed not to increase Pell Grants and federal aid, but instead promised to, “…get the government off your back, so you can keep more of what you earned.” However, he has since hinted that he would at least increase grants with the rate of inflation.

As a recent college graduate, (luckily) free from debt and a survivor of the public education system of central New Jersey, I believe that there is a better way. Education is the backbone of society. As leaders, they need to build an education system, in both primary and higher education, public and private universities, that affords future generations the opportunity to not only be contributing members of society, but leaders in their communities.