Education and the 2020 Elections
Democratic Presidential candidates clashed Thursday evening over how to make college more affordable, with dueling proposals that would either allow everyone to qualify for free tuition and public colleges and universities or only those who need the help the most.
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts have embraced the most progressive positions: a tuition-free model for all public two-year and four-year colleges and the wide-scale elimination of student loan debt.
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.
In the fall of 2020, the majority of public school districts across the state of Minnesota will ask voters to choose among newcomers and incumbents seeking a seat on their local school boards.
That list includes the state’s third largest school district — Minneapolis Public Schools — where three district seats and one at-large seat will be on the ballot.
The candidates are confirmed and the upcoming Los Angeles school board races are all but certain to make for a high-stakes election cycle that will pit teachers and their allies against backers of charter schools for influence over the nation’s second-largest school system.
The new year is likely to bring many education challenges for North Carolina and for Wake County — the largest school district in the state.
Issues will take place against the backdrop of the 2020 fall elections. In addition to casting ballots for president and Congress, voters will choose a North Carolina governor, General Assembly members and local school board and county commission seats.
Three years ago, after the 2016 presidential election, Daniela Cortez Cornelio said she felt nervous and uninformed. She hadn’t learned all that much about civics yet, so she struggled to reflect on national politics.
This week was different. By the time the U.S. House of Representatives impeached President Donald Trump on Wednesday, the 16-year-old said she’d already learned about the three branches of government, participated in a mock debate about merits of the impeachment process and watched many video clips of congressional hearings.
As college costs and student debt have risen, more attention — at least among Democrats — has been focused on increasing federal support for higher education. A few years ago, the conversation centered on lowering interest rates for borrowers, and then on making community college free. But now several candidates aim to make four-year public colleges free for some or all students. Some go further, promising to erase existing debt. The plans are expensive, but draw support particularly from young people struggling to afford college.
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.