By Amanda Litvinov
Take Action ›
Find out more about the candidates’ positions: Visit the EdVotes Election 2012 page. Click here ›
Ours is not an Etch-a-Sketch era. Running for the office of president in the age of YouTube—when every campaign speech and “informal” stop at the local diner is caught on camera—means now more than ever, every word counts. And all those documented words sure can clarify things for voters.
Listen to the candidates talk about education and two distinct visions quickly emerge: President Obama positions public education as the cornerstone of a thriving middle class and healthy economy, while Candidate Romney often refers to education as the exclusive domain of those with the means to attain it.
Of course stump speech proclamations are one thing—the supporting evidence is in the candidates’ proposals and policies.
“The proof is in black and white. Romney and Ryan want our students to get ‘as much education as they can afford,’” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “They can’t just shake the Etch-a-Sketch and make the facts and figures in Paul Ryan’s budget plan disappear.”
The Ryan/Romney budget plan would slash education funding by $115 billion over ten years–hurting the neediest students, causing class sizes to increase, forcing elimination of programs aimed at providing a well-rounded education, and actually reducing the number of educators in classrooms. The Romney/Ryan plan also would push 2 million kids out of Head Start and slash Pell Grants for more than 9 million students seeking a college education.
“Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have made it abundantly clear that they support the interests of corporate America and the wealthy over America’s students,” said Van Roekel.
In sharp contrast, President Obama’s annual budget proposals have consistently increased funding for education, and his college tax credit has helped more than 9 million students and families pay for college. The president also recently pledged to recruit 100,000 math and science teachers over the next decade in order to prepare students for the 2.7 million new technology jobs expected to open up by 2018.
Find out more about the candidates’ positions: Visit the EdVotes Election 2012 page.