Education and the 2020 Elections
Republicans and Democrats in Congress say they agree that a new stimulus package must include billions of dollars to help schools struggling financially and logistically to resume education this month and next.
But the parties are digging in over profound ideological differences, especially the divide between Democratic demands for public education spending and a Republican push to channel federal dollars into vouchers that families could use at private schools willing to open for in-person classes.
President Trump pressured the government’s top public health experts on Wednesday to water down recommendations for how the nation’s schools could reopen safely this fall and threatened to cut federal funding for districts that defied his demand to resume classes in person.
Covering Protests: Education Journalists’ Voices From the Field
'The protest stories are education stories'
Across the country, education reporters are out in the field covering community protests mounted in response to police brutality and the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
A flurry of education-related conversation surfaced at the most recent Democratic presidential debate on Feb. 25, as candidates exchanged jabs and defended their positions on charter schools, student loan debt, and setting up young people for meaningful careers.
The 10th debate came at a pivotal moment, just days before voters in 14 states will cast their ballots on Super Tuesday (March 3). With education taking a back seat in prior debates, the rapid-fire discussion caught the attention of education journalists and pundits.
It’s well known that America’s teachers don’t look much like the country’s students. It turns out that the voters who elect America’s school boards don’t, either.
A new study appears to be the first of its kind to quantify the demographic mismatch, and it’s sizable. Across four states, including California, researchers estimate that school board voters are much whiter and more affluent than the public school student body.
What’s Ahead on the Education Beat in 2020?
From school safety to the youth vote, it's going to be a busy year
As the calendar turns to a new year (and a new decade, at least according to some), plenty of education issues from 2019 will be tagging along.
At Austin Community College, civics is an unwritten part of the curriculum — so much so that for years the school has tapped its own funds to set up temporary early-voting sites on nine of its 11 campuses.
In September 2008, with polls showing him in a statistical dead heat with Republican presidential nominee John McCain, Barack Obama proposed doubling the federal funding for charter schools. As president, Obama was a champion of charters and also used mechanisms such as his Race to the Top education initiative to spark their expansion.
In 2000, Vice President Al Gore ran for president as a Democrat on an education plan that called for tripling the number of the nation’s charter schools —a plan that was mirrored in his party’s platform that year.