By Sylvia Gurinsky
Continuing with the stands of Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama, this time on education issues. Again, resources include Project Vote Smart and the candidates' Web sites.
*No Child Left Behind: Supports the measure, and voted for it in 2001, but calls it "the beginning of education reform."
*Early Childhood: Proposes as much as $200,000 each year to specified Head Start Centers of Excellence in each state. Supports no federal prohibitions against preschool programs offering health screening to children.
*Teachers: From McCain's Web site: "John McCain will devote five percent of Title II funding to states to recruit teachers who graduate in the top 25 percent of their class or who participate in an alternative teacher recruitment program such as Teach for America, the New York City Teaching Fellowship Program, the New Teacher Project, or excellent university initiatives." He proposes 60 percent of Title II funding for teacher bonuses and 35 percent for professional teacher development.
*Afterschool programs: In October, 2005, McCain voted No on an amendment to increase funding for afterschool programs through community learning centers.
*Other education issues: McCain supports putting school funding in the control of school principals, expanding school choice and providing federal money to tutoring providers. He also advocates $500 million in federal money for online schooling, and a $250 million competitive grant program for states that support online education. In March, 2006, McCain voted No on a non-binding resolution to increase funding for Title 1 grants and close corporate tax loopholes. Last May, McCain did not vote on a measure to provide funding for education for members of the armed forces. In May, 2004, McCain voted Yes on a bill to reauthorize the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act. In May, 1998, McCain voted Yes on a measure to authorize three block grants for vocational and technological education, adult education and literacy and job training for disadvantaged young people.
*Higher Education: McCain supports improving the federal information database for parents. He proposes simplifying the financial aid application process, and eliminating earmarks to protect university research budgets. In July, McCain did not vote on the extension of the Higher Education Act bill. In July, 2007, he voted No on a bill to change the standards and funding of financial aid. In October, 2005, he voted No on an Amendment to increase the maximum federal Pell grant.
For more information:
*No Child Left Behind: Says the law has been poorly implemented. He wants to improve accountability and tracking systems for students.
*Early childhood: Obama supports a "Zero To Five Plan" that would improve education for infants and include challenge grants and promotion of universal, voluntary pre-K programs such as the one now in Florida. Obama also plans to quadruple funding for Early Head Start and increase Head Start funding.
*Charter schools: Obama supports expanded charter school funding and interventions and closings of charter schools that are struggling.
*Dropouts: Obama proposes funding for middle schools for programs to address the issue.
*Teachers: Obama plans to create Teacher Service Scholarships, require all schools of education to be accredited and create a voluntary national assessment of performance.
*Higher education: Obama proposes the American Opportunity Tax Credit to help students pay for college, and wants to simplify the process for applying for financial aid. In July, 2007, Obama did not vote on a measure to make changes to financial aid regulations and funding. Last July, he did not vote on a measure to amend and extend the Higher Education Act of 1965. In October, 2005, he voted Yes on an amendment to increase the maximum federal Pell grant.
Afterschool programs: In October, 2005, Obama voted Yes on an amendment to increase appropriations for afterschool programs through 21st century community learning centers.
Other education issues: In March, 2006, Obama voted Yes on a non-binding resolution to increase funding for Title 1 grants that would improve education for the disadvantaged. The bill was also meant to close corporate tax loopholes. In March, 2005, he voted Yes on an amendment to restore and increase assorted education funding while again closing corporate tax loopholes. Last May, Obama voted Yes on a measure to provide funding for education for eligible members of the armed forces. In July, 2006, Obama voted Yes on an amendment to authorize grants for education on preventing teen pregnancies.
For more information: http://www.barackobama.com/issues/education/