Election Day is November 8 and even if you cannot yet vote in the national election, the results may affect you as a student in the public education system.

Just where do the 2016 presidential candidates stand on educational issues? What candidates say they believe and what they can actually accomplish as president may be two different things, but here is a breakdown of who the candidates are and what they have said about education leading up to Election Day.

Election DayJill Stein, Green Party

A graduate of Harvard University, where she earned both a bachelor’s and a medical degree, Stein is 66 years old and resides in Chicago. She opposes charter schools and is critical of the Common Core. She supports teachers, not corporations, being responsible for education. In the classroom, Stein feels that there should be a move away from computer use at all levels of education as she believes that computers benefit their manufacturers and not students, teachers, or neighborhoods. If she wins on Election Day, Stein would move toward free higher education in the future. She would also cancel all student loan debt, and proposes accomplishing that by having the Federal Reserve buy up student loans and agree not to collect on the debt.

Election DayGary Johnson, Libertarian Party

A graduate of the University of New Mexico, Johnson is 63 years old and is the former governor of New Mexico. He is supportive of local and state governments’ control of education policy and would abolish the federal Department of Education if he wins on Election Day, saying that it has not been successful since its creation in 1979 because too many strings are attached to the federal money given to schools. Johnson supports school choice and school vouchers so students could choose the school they wish to attend. An opponent of the Common Core, Johnson does supports competition among schools to make them better and measurement or grading of schools to determine how they are doing and where they stand in comparison to other schools.

Election DayHillary Clinton, Democratic Party

A native of Chicago, Hillary Clinton now resides in New York and Washington, D.C. She is 69 years old and a graduate of Wellesley College and Yale University Law School. A long-time supporter of early childhood education, Clinton supports investing in a universal preschool. She also supports funding for improving education of children from low-income families and has praised the ESSA bill. Clinton does support longer school days to help disadvantaged students achieve higher learning and believes it’s important to train teachers in computer science. She supports the Common Core and charter schools, but opposes school vouchers. Government intervention should be used to ease student debt, Clinton believes, but not erase it. Clinton has proposed increased funding for special education if she wins on Election Day, as well as research to avoid jumping from “fad to fad” in education.

Election DayDonald Trump, Republican Party

Donald Trump is 70 years old and a native New Yorker. He is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Trump supports local control of education and would eliminate the Department of Education if elected president. He does support merit pay for teachers, but is opposed to teachers unions. If successful on Election Day, Trump supports school choice and pledges $20 billion in federal funds to give states block grants. He also supports vouchers as part of school competition. Trump’s opinion of ESSA is unclear, but he is against the Common Core, which he calls a “total disaster.” Pledging support of college students, Trump believes they need help with school loan debt and believes that the government should stop profiting from student loans.

A discussion of the candidates’ stances on other issues can be accessed at sites such as ballotpedia.org or ontheissues.org and other national news outlets. Encourage all voters to read about the issues important to them before Election Day November 8.

All images via candidates’ Twitter accounts.
Appropriate, constructive comments are always welcome. Inappropriate comments will not be tolerated.

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