May as well start this off with something fun.  I’m sure everyone will agree with my point of view.

My view:  The federal government’s involvement in Education is, at best, marginally supported by the founding documents of our nation.  Our government was founded to do, in the best interest of the majority of the citizens, those things which the citizens cannot do themselves.  I feel that an educated populous is essential to the maintenance of our republic and as such can see some, minimal, participation by the Federal Government in the education of the populous.  

  I would accept the Federal Government setting and even monitoring standards for education.  This would have the purpose of seeing that a relatively equal educational opportunity could be had by a citizen anywhere in the land.  The Federal government might even be allowed to offer educational subsides to students in areas or skills needed by the Government Agencies, as in providing a free education for a military officer in return for many years of service.  Beyond that, I think the administration of government education should be delegated to the States and localities. Money spent at the state and (better) at the local level are more easily accounted for and almost always more efficiently employed.

  The Federal Government Budget for Education now runs around $70,000,000,000 ($70 Billion).  The size, complexity, and lack of purpose of the Department of Education is nothing short of amazing.  $70,000,000,000 buys us over 20 Boards and Commissions.  And, this is the smallest cabinet level department in our government with ‘only’ about 5,000 employees

  So I would leave ‘No Child Left Behind’ behind and cut out about 90% of the Federal spending.   I believe if half the money spent on each public school pupil were allowed as a voucher that could be taken to any school, our public schools would have the competition they need and our parents could decide what is best for their kids.

  This Department and its mission need to be rebuilt from the ground up, as a sub-cabinet agency.

  Sorry, this got a bit carried away.  I will try to be more concise on the remainder of the issues.

 

Mr. Obama’s Plan for Education – Mr. Obama wants the federal Government to provide far more education dollars in the form of subsidized child care, and 0-5 year old education, increased non-English language teaching, after school programs, etc.  He is proposing a multitude of new and innovative ways to spend money on the Federal level for education.  I have not heard where he will get the money to pay for all this.  I think it will come from you and me.  I think it will buy a lot of support and votes from the NEA.  Mr. Obama is very consistent on this issue.  For his entire public life, he has voted for more spending for education at every level.  From his history, I predict that this is one area you can believe his pre-election promises.  He will push to spend far more federal Dollars on education.

GRADE: D-

 

Mr. McCain’s Plan  Mr. McCain believes in home schooling and private schools as acceptable sources of education.  In other words, he is in favor of school choice.  He favors voucher programs, at least for inner city kids.  He is in favor of spending more on early childhood education but not as fervently as does Mr. Obama.  His other plans for education spending look similar but less liberal than Mr. Obama’s.  He will do nothing to cut back on the size or cost of the education bureaucracy.  His record is that he has shown little interest and has voted rarely (and usually against) education legislation.  In 1994, he said, “I think that given the origins of the Department of Education, I would favor doing away with it. 

GRADE: C  (An A if he followed through with getting rid of the cabinet level Department of Education).

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