Thursday, July 21, 2016

Clinton Hands Trump an Opening: Pence’s Record on Education - WSJ

Clinton Hands Trump an Opening: Pence’s Record on Education - WSJ:

Clinton Hands Trump an Opening: Pence’s Record on Education

Hillary Clinton used a rally of the American Federation of Teachers in Minneapolis on Monday night as another occasion to blast Mike Pence, but the slap came off as a backhanded compliment. The Indiana governor, she said, is “one of the most hostile politicians in America when it comes to public education.”
Donald Trump has been vague on education, and his running mate’s efforts to expand school choice in Indiana have been largely overshadowed by the state’s culture wars. So it is nice to see Mrs. Clinton calling attention to Mr. Pence’s strong record of school reform. The Trump campaign ought to be doing the same.
In 2011, Mitch Daniels established private-school vouchers for low- and middle-income students in public schools, a program that Mr. Pence has steadily expanded by extending eligibility to siblings of voucher recipients, children living in failing public-school districts and those with special needs.
During the past few years, Indiana has also lifted the $4,800 cap on voucher awards, and the state has allowed students to continue receiving vouchers if their parents’ incomes exceed the threshold (150% of the poverty line). This year, Indiana extended the application window so that children contending with bad public schools can transfer at midyear to private schools.
Since 2012, the number of recipients has increased 10-fold to 33,000 students, while state funding has swelled to $132 million from $15 million. Nearly 60% of students in the state now qualify for vouchers. Indiana’s voucher program is the fastest-growing and largest in the country.
Mr. Pence has also knocked heads with the state’s liberal Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz, who has persistently tried to sabotage charters and vouchers. Last year the Education Department complained that she had incorrectly applied federal law regulating Title I funds for low-income students when she cut funding for charters. After a series of court battles, Mr. Pence pressed the legislature to limit her control over vouchers and charter schools.
These school-reform brawls are a good illustration of Mr. Pence’s record as a fighter. They also show conservative policies can help low- and middle-income families. This is a fight Mr. Trump ought to be picking with Mrs. Clinton.Clinton Hands Trump an Opening: Pence’s Record on Education - WSJ:

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