Monday, October 20, 2008

Big difference in candidates education plans

"Here's the biggest difference between the education plans of presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama: $18 billion," writes Nanette Asimov in a story in today's San Francisco Chronicle. That's how much more Democrat Obama says he'd spend than Republican McCain to transform schools, from quadrupling the number of kids eligible for public preschool programs to strengthening long-neglected science education. Obama claims he can implement his long list of reforms without raising the federal deficit."

What about McCain?

"McCain's package would add less than $1 billion to the education budget," Asimov says. "His message is about doing more with the nearly $70 billion in federal education funding already flowing to California and the other states: giving principals more say over funds while redirecting cash to online schools, home schools and tuition vouchers." (To read the full article, which details the two contrasting plans, click here.)

While the presidential candidates rarely talk about education in debates and speeches, they clearly have different ideas. And for anyone with young children this is an important issue. What do you think of the candidates' education plans? Who will you vote for?


  1. This is one issue I actually agreed with McCain on. What the comments above failed to mention was that America already spends the most on education than any other country in the world. It is clear that reform is needed!

  2. Obama. NCLB is not achieving it's goals and actively hurting the quality of education.

  3. Which is precisely the point! Throwing money at a problem achieves nothing. Reform is needed.

  4. McCain is going to reform education? Riiiiight.

  5. While I can only guess that some money gets lost at the district level, I can tell you for certain, 100% sure, that money is not being wasted at the school site level. We plan for and use every penny wisely and then beg for more to fill the gaps. No reform in the world is going to help that, only more money.

    What has helped? Prop H. A clear example of more money making a clear and meaningful impact in my child's education. As a direct result of Prop H funding, my child has access to a better staffed library, a district provided art teacher and a district provided P.E. teacher. The last 2 are certainly new this year. As a result PTA funds that might have been used to cover some of these expenses can be put to good use elsewhere, like class size reduction in the upper grades, tutoring programs, etc.

    I hope that the teachers will similarly feel a concrete impact for Prop A. They deserve it. I get that there are difficulties with categorical funding at the state and district level that are beyond my total understanding at this point. That said, if Obama or any other government body wants to throw down a specific chunk of change for science education. I'd support that in a heart beat.

    Unfortunately, it just seems easier to get money for specific programs then to increase the general fund. More money in the general fund would allow for more teachers, who with less students would have more time for individual attention and better lessons, perhaps time to plan a science project or two?

  6. Kimberly Wicoff, who is running for SF school board, is Communities of
    Opportunity's deputy director, isn't she?

    Amazing who the SF bay Guardian chooses to endorse, ain't it?

    S.F.'s $3.9 million wasted opportunity

    Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross

    Monday, October 20, 2008

    Despite sinking $4 million in mostly private foundation money into
    trying to turn around some of San Francisco's poorest neighborhoods,
    Mayor Gavin Newsom's Communities of Opportunity program has largely
    been a bust, according to a new city audit.

    The program, patterned after an effort in New York's Harlem, was
    intended to help families living in the city's public-housing projects
    with everything from after-school tutoring and job placement to health
    care and addiction treatment.

    Story continues at:

  7. !8 billion over how long a time frame? Remember this money is for pre k thru university level so spread out over years and grades it's a long over due modest investment in our nations future. Compared to the 800 billion spent on the Iraq war to date it's a bargain. Go Obama!!!!

  8. I am, of course, voting for Obama. However, I'm concerned that he won't get rid of NCLB as he should because he feels indebted to Kennedy for his early endorsement.