Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on education issues
Education policy has largely been a second-tier issue in the 2016 presidential election.
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees, have focused their comments and discussions mostly on issues like national security, trade, and an email scandal.
Still, in Trump's case, education discussions have followed him as he remains enmeshed in multiple lawsuits filed by former students of Trump University that accuse him of defrauding thousands of customers with worthless classes on real estate and investing.
In any case, both Trump and Clinton have given some indication about the issues they would back in the White House.
Here's where the candidates fall on the big education issues.
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In September, Trump pledged to immediately invest $20 billion in school choice. The move signaled that the polarizing issue of school vouchers would be the cornerstone of his education agenda.
Trump's plan would reprioritize existing federal dollars to establish a grant to allow children living in poverty to attend the school of their choice. Trump argued not only that the voucher system would help impoverished children enroll at quality schools, but also that a free market would improve the entire system.
While eligibility for vouchers varies by state, Trump promised to campaign nationwide and call upon individual states and cities to elect officials in support of school choice.
"If the states collectively contribute another $110 billion of their own education budgets toward school choice on top of the 20 billion in federal dollars, that could provide $12,000 in school choice funds to every single K-12 student who today is living in poverty," Trump said at a campaign event in Cleveland on Thursday.
Clinton, unsurprisingly, is staunchly opposed to school vouchers, an issue that is cleanly split along party lines. GOP policymakers traditionally favor school choice, while Democrats claim it hurts public education. Clinton asserted this point in amessage she posted to her website after Trump unveiled his plan.
"Trump's proposal to apparently gut nearly 30 percent of the federal education budget and turn it into private school vouchers would decimate public schools across America and deprive our most vulnerable students of the education they deserve," Clinton wrote.
Opponents of voucher programs argue that they siphon essential funding from already meager public-school budgets to other schools and at their worst are unconstitutional, as they can use taxpayer-funded vouchers to benefit religious schools.
Supporters argue that vouchers help disadvantaged students.
"Voucher programs largely help low-income middle-class kids — these are the kids that most need access" to quality education, Michelle Tigani, the communications director at the Center for Education Reform, previously told Business Insider.
Voucher policies typically have income restrictions that vary by state to ensure education funds truly end up with the families most in need. In Indiana, where Trump's running mate, Mike Pence, championed numerous school choice policies, the 2016-2017 income limit for a family of four to receive the largest voucher amount was $44,955.
On the issue of charter schools, Trump and Clinton align. Trump unveiled his voucher proposal at a charter school in Ohio, and after the televised speech, he spoke with a group about his Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on education issues - Business Insider: