Education and the 2020 Elections
Covering the Pandemic Child Care Crisis
Experts discuss how existing inequities have been exacerbated in the strained sector
America’s system of child care was already seriously strained by surging expenses, high staff turnover and dwindling capacity before the pandemic upended everything.
“COVID really just highlighted the pre-existing situations and challenges of the early childhood system across the nation,” said Dionne Dobbins, the senior director of research at Child Care Aware of America, a research and advocacy group. “When COVID hit, it was layering it on top of a very fragile child care system — and, you know, some would say it even shattered.”
In October 2013, Cindy Marten had been superintendent for just eight months. She stood in Kearny High School’s auditorium and made a case for a shining new world of public education that would sweep away the past era of reforms.
What’s on the Horizon for Early Childhood Education in 2021?
Local and national preschool efforts provide clues
Eight months into the pandemic, voters in Multnomah County, Oregon, approved a new tax on high earners to fund a program called Preschool For All.
The action represents a major early childhood investment during a recession that threatens to drive many child care providers out of business. It also puts forth a compelling model for solving some of the problems that publicly funded preschool and child care programs in other states and cities haven’t fully addressed.
The Education Writers Association’s 74th National Seminar will focus on the theme of “Now What? Reporting on Education Amid Uncertainty.” Four afternoons of conversations, training and presentations will give attendees deeper understanding of these crises, as well as tools, skills and context to help them better serve their communities — and advance their careers.
To be held May 2-5, 2021, the seminar will feature education newsmakers, including leaders, policy makers, researchers, practitioners and journalists. And it will offer practical data and other skills training.
America’s child care providers have hit a breaking point.
In a survey last summer, 86 percent said the Covid-19 pandemic had hurt their enrollment. Seventy percent said it had driven up costs. With less money coming in and more going out, just 18 percent believed they could stay open longer than a year without some kind of help.
Those numbers are just one sign of a crisis that’s been brewing ever since the pandemic began spreading across the US.
Who Is Miguel Cardona?
President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for education secretary prioritizes equity, data, and collaboration, say Connecticut Mirror reporters
(EWA Radio Episode 259)
Connecticut education commissioner Miguel Cardona has surged into the national spotlight as President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Education.
PRESIDENT-ELECT JOE Biden outlined a sweeping plan Thursday to address the country’s child care crisis.
“We are facing an acute, immediate child care crisis in America, which is exacerbating our economic crisis,” he said in a statement. “If left unaddressed, many child care providers will close – some permanently – and millions of children could go without necessary care, and millions of parents could be left to make devastating choices this winter between caring for their children and working to put food on the table.”
President-elect Joe Biden is calling for $130 billion in additional COVID-19 relief funding for schools, ramped up testing efforts, and accelerated vaccine distribution strategies to help reopen “the majority of K-8 schools” within the first 100 days of his administration.
The proposals, which Biden announced in a speech Thursday night, are part of a $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” that also seeks $350 billion in aid to state, local, and territorial governments.
How Will Your Community Benefit From the New $81 Billion in Pandemic Relief for Education?
Experts explain ins and outs of new aid flowing to schools and universities, and how to track it
More than $81 billion in new stimulus aid is coming to schools and universities as part of the new federal COVID relief measure. Get a quick introduction to tracking the money that will flow to the schools you cover in this EWA webinar.
Two policy experts explain:
It’s Not Just About Voting: How Character, Civic Discourse Factor Into Post-Election Lessons
After bruising election cycle, schools are helping students make sense of the political upheaval
A month before Americans voted in the presidential election, the Pew Research Center polled registered Democrats and Republicans to ask what they thought about each other’s political leanings. Pew’s conclusion? The country’s voters “have rarely been as polarized as they are today.”
Top Biden Aide Talks Reopening Schools, Education Funding, Charters and More
Provides on-the-record comments in pre-election webinar
President-elect Joe Biden has a far-reaching education agenda that begins with actions to help schools reopen for in-person instruction, as well as plans to reverse key Trump administrative actions and more.
In a recent, on-the-record webinar, the Biden campaign’s national policy director, Stef Feldman, fielded questions from the Education Writers Association and its members around the country.
What will President-elect Joe Biden’s victory mean for education? How does the uncertainty in political control of the Senate complicate matters? What actions can the Biden administration accomplish through executive action?
Get early indications of likely actions on issues including emergency aid for schools and colleges, civil rights enforcement, Title IX, student loans, and more during this Education Writers Association Webinar.
In 2020, Elections for Key State Posts Have High Stakes for Education
Governors, legislators, state superintendents on ballot
The race for the White House is (understandably) dominating headlines this election season, but when it comes to education policy and funding, a raft of state-level campaigns this year have a lot at stake.
Biden vs. Trump: Their Education Plans
From school choice to teacher pay and student debt, what are the presidential candidates promising voters?
(EWA Radio: Episode 252)
What would a second term for President Donald Trump mean for K-12 and postsecondary education? And conversely, what might change if Democratic nominee Joe Biden wins the election? Lauren Camera of U.S. News & World Report and Michael Stratford of Politico Pro break down the candidates’ education policy priorities and share insights from covering their campaigns.
If elected president, what would Joe Biden do for education? Although campaign plans face plenty of obstacles when it’s time to govern, the former vice president has rolled out a sweeping education agenda, from the earliest years through college and beyond.
The Democratic nominee also has developed a “road map to reopening schools safely” amid the pandemic, and has been sharply critical of President Trump’s approach.
How to Get Voters to Care About School Board Elections
School board races are even more crucial during the pandemic
School board races typically get short shrift in election coverage. On ballots, they’re often relegated to the last pages, along with district court judges and densely worded ballot measures.
But school board members play a key leadership and oversight role in local public schools. During the pandemic, that includes an important new responsibility: largely deciding whether (and when) shuttered campuses will reopen, as well as setting the parameters for remote or hybrid learning.
Young voters could have a decisive impact on elections this fall at the local, state, and federal levels — if enough of them cast a ballot. Historically, young people (ages 18 to 29) vote at much lower levels than their parents — or their grandparents.
And additional obstacles are making it tougher for college students to vote this year, analysts say, such as fewer polling stations on college campuses and confusion over voter registration rules for students who have moved back home during the pandemic.
The Top 11 Higher Ed Stories Likely to Make Headlines This Year
Inside Higher Ed's Scott Jaschik highlights COVID, Title IX, affirmative action and more
COVID-19 will continue to be a major story topic for the 2020-21 school year, but reporters should also look at the future of affirmative action and race on college campuses, according to Inside Higher Ed’s Scott Jaschik.
Jaschik, veteran higher education journalist and editor, listed his top 11 topics he thinks every higher education reporter should be ready to cover.
Education Surges to Top Tier of Presidential Race Amid Pandemic
Journalists offer insights, story ideas on covering the schools angle
Education is not typically an issue that comes to the forefront in presidential races.
But months of an ongoing coronavirus pandemic have elevated conversations about how schools and elected officials are tackling the issue. In fact, education took a front seat in high-stakes negotiations this summer over a federal stimulus bill that has stalled.