Education and the 2020 Elections
The Education Department plans to scrutinize a wide range of employee activities — including internal book clubs — in search of “Anti-American propaganda” and discussions about “white privilege” as it carries out the White House’s demand that federal agencies halt certain types of race-related training.
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.
With the “will they, won’t they” of school reopenings as one of the most divisive debates of pandemic America, education policy is enjoying a rare moment at center stage.
But as the presidential election draws nearer, remote learning is just one of many education policy concerns on the ballot. College affordability, sexual assault policies and charter schools could see widespread changes depending on whether President Trump or Joe Biden wins the electoral college come November.
Covering Student Voting: Exclusive Opportunity for EWA Members
ProPublica offers EWA members free training
At 1 p.m. Eastern on August, 18, 2020 ProPublica will be offering a webinar on the challenges college students are facing to cast a ballot this year. The speakers will be Campus Vote Project Deputy Director Raaheela Ahmed, Texas State Coordinator Maya Patel, and Fair Elections Center Senior Counsel Michelle Kanter Cohen.
Attendance at this webinar is limited to EWA members and ProPublica’s Electionland partners.
With Nation Focused on Reopening Schools, Biden’s Choice of Kamala Harris as Running Mate Could Renew Attention on Integration
Their heated exchange over school busing during a Democratic presidential debate last year was one of the more dramatic moments of the primary season. But now former vice president Joe Biden and California Sen. Kamala Harris share the ticket and could make education a more defining issue in their effort to unseat President Donald Trump.
When Kurt Browning first ran for superintendent in 2012, the political winds were at his back.
Browning argued that Pasco, one of the relatively few districts with an elected superintendent, needed a strong manager to run the billion-dollar organization and bring it to the next level of academic achievement. “We can do so much more,” he declared, calling the system’s accountability performance “mediocre.”
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.