Presidential Candidate Representatives Discuss Public Education

What are the key issues in the Presidential Election around Public Education?   Ann O’Leary, Senior Policy Advisor from the Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign and Donni Turner, Policy Analyst from the Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ campaign discuss the candidates’ education agendas during the NSBAC-sponsored Presidential Forum hosted by the Committee for Education Funding.

Watch here.

No representative from the presumptive Republican Party nominee Donald Trump participated in the forum despite repeated invitations.

Implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act, the modernized version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESSA) passed by Congress in December 2015 is where much of the discussion centers. Panelists discussed how best to uphold the local governance structure in the law to ensure meaningful consultations and participation from local school boards and other education stakeholders.

Both candidates are in favor of increasing the opportunity for education for all people.  Bernie Sanders’ focus is higher education and relief of tuition.  While Hillary Clinton recognizes that higher education and affordability will be on the top of the legislative agenda for the new president because legislation has already been crafted, she is also interested in early education (relief for families that are struggling with day care costs) and implementation of ESSA.

The success of public education is still impacted by poverty. The hope is that some day the success of students won’t be predicted by their families income.

It is clear that both candidate representatives that spoke believe that Local Education Authority (our school district) needs freedom to apply funds to where the LEA know it makes a difference.  My thought is that this is a good concept, but I am not sure that school districts really know what makes a difference.  We need to strengthen our link of what we do with the outcomes that result from them. – Beth Worthington, May 31, 2016