Articles tagged with 2012 Presidential Race

Transcript: Presidential candidates briefly promote education plans during debate

President Barack Obama and GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney held their first of three debates last night, and while the debate focused on the nation’s economy and job creation, comments about education and job training bubbled up throughout the debate. Moderator Jim Lehrer of PBS asked one question specifically on education policies.

Michael A. Resnick, the director of the National School Boards Action Center (NSBAC), has examined Romney’s plan to give Title I and IDEA funds to students instead of schools. He estimates that an IDEA voucher would add up to $1,700 to 1,800 per child and Title I is much harder to determine because of the way it is distributed to schools and how those schools spend it, but it could be under $1,000 or as much as $2,000. He further noted that Romney’s plan would not likely spend any additional funds on K-12 programs. NSBAC, the 501c4 organization of the National School Boards Association (NSBA), has an analysis of the candidates’ education platforms and an election year message to the candidates on its website, www.nsbac.org.

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) also has longstanding concerns about the Race to the Top program, the federal role in K-12 policy, and the inability of some school districts to compete for funds.

Following is a transcript of the most relevant portion of the debate. A full transcript can be found at the Washington Post website.

LEHRER: All right. Let’s go through some specifics in terms of what — how each of you views the role of government. How do — education. Does the federal government have a responsibility to improve the quality of public education in America?

ROMNEY: Well, the primary responsibility for education is — is, of course, at the state and local level. But the federal government also can play a very important role. And I — and I agree with Secretary Arne Duncan, he’s — some ideas he’s put forward on Race to the Top, not all of them, but some of them I agree with and — and congratulate him for pursuing that. The federal government can get local and — and state schools to do a better job.

My own view, by the way, is I’ve added to that. I happen to believe, I want the kids that are getting federal dollars from IDEA or Title I — these are disabled kids or — or — or poor kids or — or lower-income kids, rather, I want them to be able to go to the school of their choice.

So all federal funds, instead of going to the — to the state or to the school district, I’d have go, if you will, follow the child and let the parent and the child decide where to send their — their — their student.

LEHRER: How do you see the federal government’s responsibility to, as I say, to improve the quality of public education in this country?

OBAMA: Well, as I’ve indicated, I think that it has a significant role to play. Through our Race to the Top program, we’ve worked with Republican and Democratic governors to

initiate major reforms, and they’re having an impact right now.

LEHRER: Do you think you have a difference with your views and — and those of Governor Romney on — about education and the federal government?

OBAMA: You know, this is where budgets matter, because budgets reflect choices. So when Governor Romney indicates that he wants to cut taxes and potentially benefit folks like me and him, and to pay for it we’re having to initiate significant cuts in federal support for education, that makes a difference.

You know, his — his running mate, Congressman Ryan, put forward a budget that reflects many of the principles that Governor Romney’s talked about. And it wasn’t very detailed. This seems to be a trend. But — but what it did do is to — if you extrapolated how much money we’re talking about, you’d look at cutting the education budget by up to 20 percent.

OBAMA: When it comes to community colleges, we are seeing great work done out there all over the country because we have the opportunity to train people for jobs that exist right now. And one of the things I suspect Governor Romney and I probably agree on is getting businesses to work with community colleges so that they’re setting up their training programs…

LEHRER: Do you — do you agree, Governor?

OBAMA: Let me just finish the point.

(CROSSTALK)

OBAMA: The — where they’re partnering so that they’re designing training programs. And people who are going through them know that there’s a job waiting for them if they complete it. That makes a big difference, but that requires some federal support.

Let me just say one final example. When it comes to making college affordable, whether it’s two-year or four-year, one of the things that I did as president was we were sending $60 billion to banks and lenders as middlemen for the student loan program, even though the loans were guaranteed. So there was no risk for the banks or the lenders, but they were taking billions out of the system.

And we said, “Why not cut out the middleman?” And as a consequence, what we’ve been able to do is to provide millions more students assistance, lower or keep low interest rates on student loans. And this is an example of where our priorities make a difference.

Governor Romney, I genuinely believe cares about education, but when he tells a student that, you know, “you should borrow money from your parents to go to college,” you know, that indicates the degree to which, you know, there may not be as much of a focus on the fact that folks like myself, folks like Michelle, kids probably who attend University of Denver, just don’t have that option.

And for us to be able to make sure that they’ve got that opportunity and they can walk through that door, that is vitally important not just to those kids. It’s how we’re going to grow this economy over the long term.

LEHRER: We’re running out of time, gentlemen.

LEHRER: Governor?

ROMNEY: Mr. President, Mr. President, you’re entitled as the president to your own airplane and to your own house, but not to your own facts. All right, I’m not going to cut education funding. I don’t have any plan to cut education funding and — and grants that go to people going to college. I’m planning on (inaudible) to grow. So I’m not planning on making changes there.

But you make a very good point, which is that the place you put your money just makes a pretty clear indication of where your heart is. You put $90 billion into — into green jobs. And I — look, I’m all in favor of green energy. $90 billion, that would have — that would have hired 2 million teachers. $90 billion.

And these businesses, many of them have gone out of business, I think about half of them, of the ones have been invested in have gone out of business. A number of them happened to be owned by people who were contributors to your campaigns.

Look, the right course for America’s government, we were talking about the role of government, is not to become the economic player, picking winners and losers, telling people what kind of health treatment they can receive, taking over the health care system that has existed in this country for a long, long time and has produced the best health records in the world.

The right answer for government is say, How do we make the private sector become more efficient and more effective? How do we get schools to be more competitive? Let’s grade them. I propose we grade our schools so parents know which schools are succeeding and failing, so they can take their child to a — to a school that he’s being more successful.

I don’t want to cut our commitment to education. I wanted to make it more effective and efficient. And by the way, I’ve had that experience. I don’t just talk about it. I’ve been there. Massachusetts schools are ranked number one in the nation. This is not because I didn’t have commitment to education. It’s because I care about education for all of our kids.

 

Obama also made the following remark earlier in the debate during a session on the economy:

First, we’ve got to improve our education system and we’ve made enormous progress drawing on ideas both from Democrats and Republicans that are already starting to show gains in some of the toughest to deal with schools. We’ve got a program called Race to the Top that has prompted reforms in 46 states around the country, raising standards, improving how we train teachers.

So now I want to hire another 100,000 new math and science teachers, and create 2 million more slots in our community colleges so that people can get trained for the jobs that are out there right now. And I want to make sure that we keep tuition low for our young people.

 

Joetta Sack-Min|October 5th, 2012|Categories: 2012 Presidential race, Educational Finance, Federal Advocacy, Federal Programs, NSBAC|Tags: , , |

NSBA creates Action Center to boost lobbying and advocacy in Washington

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) has launched the National School Boards Action Center (NSBAC), a 501(c)(4) organization that will enable NSBA to expand its advocacy efforts and to increase its lobbying to include public advocacy activities not previously available. NSBAC is also designed to serve local school board members as an important resource for grassroots advocacy and for information on the political process and candidates.

Although NSBAC will not endorse specific candidates, it will analyze information and identify differences among the political candidate positions so that local school board members will be able to determine what candidates best serve the interests of our public school students.

As part of its mission to raise awareness of school boards’ top issues to candidates for federal offices, NSBAC has released an analysis of President Obama’s and Gov. Mitt Romney’s K-12 proposals. For more information, go to www.nsbac.org.

 

Joetta Sack-Min|September 28th, 2012|Categories: 2012 Presidential race, Announcements, Educational Legislation, Federal Advocacy, Federal Programs, Legislative advocacy, Policy Formation, Public Advocacy, School Board News, School Boards|Tags: , , |

NSBA president queries Romney on role of school boards

C. Ed Massey, president of the National School Boards Association (NSBA), queried GOP presidential nominee Gov. Mitt Romney this morning during a session at NBC’s Education Nation Summit.

C. Ed Massey

Massey asked for details about the candidate’s views on local school boards and parental involvement. Romney spent much of the session speaking about the need for parental involvement.

Romney used the question to further promote his beliefs that education begins at home and parents should be heavily involved in their child’s education. Romney has proposed a plan that would give students from low-income families or students who receive special education services—about 50 percent of all public school students, he estimates—access to the average per-pupil amount of federal funds under Title I or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to use at any school that best meets their educational needs. Currently the funds are given to states to distribute to local school districts by formulas based on need.

After the session, Massey said he was pleased with the opportunity to meet Romney and be able “to make sure he knew that school board governance was the critical factor in meeting the needs of the local community.”

“What I liked about [Romney’s remarks] was he did recognize the importance of parental involvement,” Massey said. “What he didn’t say much about was how that’s correlated through school boards.”

Massey and NSBA Executive Director Anne L. Bryant are attending the event, held Sept. 23 to 25 in New York City. Watch the video (Massey appears at position 32:06) or read a transcript of the exchange:

MASSEY: Good morning. Ed Massey from the Commonwealth of Kentucky. I serve as president of the National School Boards Association and sit on the National PTA board, as well. And I want to know a little more in detail how you view local school boards and parental involvement in the process of educational reform.

ROMNEY: Well, we have great organizations that represent the teachers. We have great organizations that represent the parents. But I’d like to see them have more clout. I’d like to see parents very much involved in evaluating the success of schools. If we had a more transparent system for evaluating the success of a school A through F, I think schools ought to have report cards the way they do in Florida. And if we had that, then if parents saw their school get a C or D or worse, those parents are going to be outraged. And they’ll want to gather together, become part of PTA organizations and talk about taking back the school. We can’t say and you have choice to go somewhere else. That’s a good thing to have that choice, but we also have to fix the school itself and parents are oftentimes going to be the impetus, the energy behind real change which must occur in a lot of our local school districts. I imagine you found the same thing. Is that right?

ED: I have. And sitting on a local school board for 16 years, I’ve found that the community engagement is so powerful, if you have parents in schools and you’ve engaged your community, the school will be successful. Regardless of the circumstances. That’s what I’ve found.

ROMNEY: That reminds me about the point about the Boston teachers who said if the parents show up at parent/teacher night, the kid will do just fine. And that just underscores the impact of parents. The idea that somehow schools are entirely separate from the home, from the economic circumstances of the home, from the social experiences of the home that’s just not reality. The home is an integral part of the education system and the best teachers in the world can’t possibly overcome a home pulling in the different direction. That’s why I propose in my state that the parents had to go to a training program to learn about the impact of education. I wasn’t able to get it done. It’s something I wanted to do and something that has merit. We have to pull the parents into education because they are an essential part of the education experience of their child.

ED: Thank you, governor.

 

Joetta Sack-Min|September 25th, 2012|Categories: 2012 Presidential race, Leadership, School Board News, School Boards, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , |
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