Day 52 – My journey to find reasons to vote for Hillary rather than just against Trump.
 
She supports education.
 
If you read the articles below, it seems as though the headline ought to be “She supports teachers,” but Hillary is looking at the issues educators face more comprehensively than that (which is one of the themes of this entire blog it turns out).
 
As first lady of Arkansas, she headed a new Educational Standards Committee. To get up to speed, she visited every single school district in Arkansas to ask them what they needed. This approach was echoed in an interview I heard this week (but can’t find to post – I heard it while just watching TV) with an NEA spokesperson. When asked about one of her education policies by educators, Hillary responded, “I don’t know. I want to talk to you first about what you need.” She received their endorsement – in large part – because of that answer.
 
However, she has thought through her education policy, and this is one area where she will veer furthest from policies set by the Obama administration. She is moving away from tying teacher pay to student test results. She is moving toward creating policy based on the evidence that suggests that teachers are, in fact, one of the smaller factors affecting student success: family education, socioeconomic status, and school funding are all more important factors.
 
A few important paragraphs from the US News article below:
 
“The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act authorized Congress to contribute 40 percent of the national average per pupil expenditure for each special education student, but appropriations have historically ranged from 10 to 20 percent.
 
“The most we’ve ever paid is like 17 percent,” Clinton said in answering a question from a special education teacher. “I think that’s one of the reasons why you don’t have the services and the support that your students need to be able to get the education they deserve.”
 
She continued: “There are two big areas of federal funding that I feel strongly about. One is the special ed funding, and the other is the Title I funding, the equalization of funding for poor schools. … Those were the earliest levels of commitment from the federal government, and we haven’t really, in my view, fulfilled either one.’”