The Party Platforms: Education

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This is the the eighth in my installments on the Presidential Party Platforms. I’m reviewing and comparing the Democrat and Republican Party Platforms.  

I know, I keep repeating this, but if you’re knew to this series, you might not know: the Republicans decided to adopt the 2016 Party Platform. On the opening day of the 2020 convention, Republicans announced that they do not have a platform, but will follow Presidents Trump’s direction. Lacking specifics, I’m comparing the 2016 Republican Platform with the 2020 Democratic Platform.

The Democratic Party has a little over 5 pages devoted to education. The Republican Party has just over 3 page specifically geared toward eduction.

Just so I can keep everything straight, I put the information into a simple table, like I would for corporate goals. Pretty easy to understand; I think:  We will______________ by_____________ so that______________ happens.  The last column is the page number for your reference.

Note: After the Convention President Trump’s campaign announced a 2nd Term Agenda. The goals are many, but only the first part (We will) is addressed. How the goal will be accomplished (the “by”) is missing. Why he wants to accomplish the goal (the “so that”) is also not included. You can find the Agenda by clicking here.

So here’s the Democrats’ Providing a World-Class Education in Every Zip Code:

The opening paragraph of this section of the Democratic Platform expresses the idea that education is fundamental to fulfilling our nation’s promise. They consider education a critical public good and that it’s governments responsibility to ensure that every child, everywhere can get a world-class education.

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We willBySo thatPage
Expand access to high-quality early childhood programs.
Working with states to offer pre-K for all three- and four-year olds;

Expanding Head Start and Early Head Start;

Increasing resources to the communities with the highest need;

Ensuring access to early childhood programs for students with disabilities and English language learners.
We guarantee universal early childhood education57
Make major investments to increase quality options for parents and increase compensation for providers.Making child care and
dependent tax credits more generous;

Increasing funds to states for that low-income and middle class families;

Expanding proven programs for low-income and first-time parents.
Low and middle income families can afford child care.57
Make major investments to increase quality options for parents and increase compensation for providers.Raising early childhood standards;

providing ongoing professional development for early childhood educators
Children’s academic, social development, behavioral, and cognitive needs are being met57
Close the school funding gap
Tripling Title I funding;

Incentivizing states to adopt progressive funding formulas that direct resources to the schools that need it most;

Ensuring sustainable, reliable funding for rural schools and Bureau of Indian Education schools.
We have high-quality K-12 schools58
Support wraparound health care and nutrition services, before- and after-school programs, adult education classes, and other servicesExpanding universal free school meal programs;

Expanding the community school model.
Our public schools are pillars of our neighborhoods and our society.58
Expand access to career and technical education, magnet schools for science and the arts, International Baccalaureate programs, and early college high schools to offer multiple pathways to meet the diverse needs and interests of America’s high school students.

Increase investments in high-quality science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs in our public schools, support access to computer science for all and improve professional development opportunities for math and science teachers.
Creating a national science corps of outstanding STEM teachers serving as leaders in their schools and communities;

Providing funds for underrepresented students, including students of color, girls, and low-income students;

Students have multiple public school pathways to be able to access the opportunities they

We reduce enrollment and achievement gaps;

Students develop the deep learning and life skills needed to thrive in the 21st century economy, including critical and creative thinking, leadership, and judgment and decision-making.
Have charter schools that provide increased flexibility in program design and operations;

Oppose private school vouchers and other policies that divert taxpayer-funded resources away from the public school system.
Banning for-profit private charter businesses from receiving federal funding;

Requiring all charter schools
to meet the same standards of transparency as traditional public schools;

Conditioning federal funding for new, expanded charter schools or for charter school renewals on a district’s review of whether the charter will systematically underserve the neediest students.

Education is not saddled with a private profit motive.

Charter schools are good stewards of federal education funds.
Facilitate improved integration;

Reinvigorate and increase funding for the
Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights and improve federal data collection on racial segregation in schools;

Protect sensitive locations like schools from immigration enforcement actions and will ensure English language learners receive the support they need to succeed.
Appointing judges who will enforce the Civil Rights
Act in schools;

Funding magnet schools and school transportation initiatives to help.
Schools are safe zones for children and their families.59
Make sure all schools should have adequate resources to expand school-based health services and hire guidance counselors, social workers,
and school psychologists to help support students’ mental health needs and social and emotional development/
Reinstate Department of Education guidance protecting transgender students’ rights under Title IX.
Our schools are spaces of physical and psychological safety for students and educators.

We make clear that schools shall not discriminate based on LGBTQ+ status.
Ban seclusion and prevent and decrease use of physical restraint, in partnership with teachers, school administrators, and the disability rights movement;

Support aggressive enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act in schools and other settings.
Fully funding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Olmstead decision to provide school districts with additional resources to better
serve students with disabilities;

Fully implementing the law’s least restrictive environment
Students with disabilities have equal educational opportunities.59
Work to end the use standardized tests and high-stakes tests and encourage states to develop reliable, continuous, evidence-based approaches to student assessment that rely on multiple and holistic measures that better represent student achievement. Using measures supported by data collection and analysis disaggregated by race, gender, disability status, and other important variables, to We identify disparities in educational equity, access, and outcomes.59
Fight to significantly increase pay and benefits for all educators;

Support measures to help teachers pay for out-of- pocket classroom expenses;

Support programs to help introduce high school students to the teaching profession,
We recruit, retain, and reward high-quality teachers and professionals;

We enable school support staff to climb the professional ladder within schools, and recruit a diverse educational workforce through partnerships with HBCUs, MSIs, and TCUs.
Make higher education affordable and accessible.

Making public colleges and
universities tuition-free for students whose families earn less than $125,000—roughly 80 percent of the American people;

Doubling the maximum Pell Grant award for low-income students;

Doubling federal support for TRIO programs that help first-generation college students, students with disabilities, veterans, and other underrepresented groups apply to and complete college.
Everyone can earn a degree, if they want, beyond high school without money standing in the way.60
Make higher education affordable and accessible.Working to provide grants to HBCUs, MSIs, and TCUs;

Making community colleges tuition-free for all student, including Dreamers.
We lower student costs, increase academic research capabilities, and ensure these essential institutions can
continue to thrive in the future.
Make higher education affordable and accessible.Increasing federal support for services like child care on college campuses;

Increasing funding for wraparound services, including covering the cost
of textbooks and fees for low-income students and establishing programs to address campus food insecurity.
More students are able to balance the demands of school and family and graduate with degrees;

Students can focus on what matters most: their studies.
Create a federal funding program for higher education, modeled on Title I funding for K-12 schools.

Promote transparency and fairness regarding higher
education faculty working conditions, including adjuncts, graduate employees, and full-time lecturers who are often grossly underpaid compared to full professors, and support and encourage professor tenure;

Safeguard academic freedom on college campuses.
???We adequately fund public and nonprofit colleges and
universities and minority-serving institutions based on the proportion of low-income students those schools enroll and graduate.
Help families weather the Covid-19 crisis.Authorizing up to $10,000 in student debt relief per borrower.We provide Borrowers Relief from crushing student debt.61
Ease the burden of high monthly student loan payments.Pausing monthly billing and stopping interest from accruing on federal student loans for people earning less than $25,000, and capping payments at no more than five percent of discretionary income for those earning more than $25,000
Forgiving federal student loan debt after 20 years without tax liability;

Forgiving all undergraduate tuition-related federal student debt from two- and four-year public colleges and universities for those earning less than $125,000,  

Forgiving federal student loans for tuition from private HBCUs and MSIs for those earning less that $125,000.
We provide Borrowers Relief from crushing student debt.61
Modernize and improve the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program,Making the enrollment process automatic for people who work in schools, government agencies, and non-profit organizations;

Forgiving up to $10,000 in student debt per year for up to five years.
We provide Borrowers Relief from crossing student debt.61
Empower the CFPB to take action against exploitative lenders;

Allow student debt to be discharged during bankruptcy.
???We provide Borrowers Relief from crushing student debt.61
Crack down on predatory for-profit higher education programs;

Ask the Secretary of Education to forgive debt carried by students who were ripped off by predatory schools, including by programs that defrauded students or that misrepresented program offerings or program outcomes, as well as debt held by people who are permanently disabled;

Protect veterans and servicemembers from
being steered into low-performing for-profit higher education and professional programs.
Issuing requirements that these programs be able to demonstrate their value and effectiveness before becoming eligible for federal student loans.We provide Borrowers Relief from crushing student debt.61


The Republicans’ plan for Great American….Education

The Republicans have a very different approach. Education for Republicans is grouped with other priorities in the section “Great American Families, Education, Healthcare, and Criminal Justice.”

photo of four girls wearing school uniform doing hand signs
Photo by 周 康 on
We willBySo thatPage number
Remove the federal government as a partner in education. Supporting a constitutional amendment to protect parents’ from interference by states, the federal government, or international bodies such as the United Nations. We restore parents’ right to be the first and primary educators of the children.33
Make the Bible an indispensable development tool. Encouraging state legislation to offer the Bible in a literature curriculum as an elective in America’s high schools.We have an educated citizenry.33
Allow flexibility to school administrators to  innovate.Urging school districts to make use of teaching talent in the business community, STEM fields, and the military;

Protecting teachers against frivolous lawsuits;

Allowing reasonable actions to maintain discipline and order;
Replacing rigid tenure systems with merit-based approach;

Background checking all personnel who interact with school children.
We attract the best talent to the classroom.34
Provide every child with equal access and opportunity.Encouraging instructions in Amrican history and civics by using the original documents of our founding fathers;  

Making technology a key element in education.
We have a world-class system of education.34
Provide choices in education.Supporting innovative financing mechanisms such as eduction saving accounts, vouchers, and tuition tax credits;  

Allowing Title I and IDEA funds follow the child to whatever school the family thinks will work best;

Repealing federal regulations which interfere with state and local control of public schools;

Advancing the concept of block grants.
We have educational options.34
Provide choices in education.Supporting English First approach;

Opposing divisive programs that limit students’ ability to advance in American society
All students have access to the mainstream of American life.34
Provide choices in education.Replacing “family planning” programs with abstinence until marriage as the responsible and respected standard of behavior;
Opposing school-based clinic  that provide referral or counseling for abortion and contraception;

Defunding mandatory or universal mental health,, psychiatric or socio-emotional screening programs.
We don’t use federal funds.34

Eliminate the opportunity gaps.
Advocating for labor and public assistance laws that ensure poor parents can spend time with their children;
Raising household incomes in poor communities;

Ensuring children have health care, style housing;

Ensuring children have a community free of violence
We minimize cognitive delays.34
Support the original, authentic meaning of Title IX.   
Saluting states that filed suit against the use of Title IX.
The edict concerning restrooms, locker rooms, and other facilities is declared illegal, dangerous, and ignores privacy issues.35
Support the original, authentic meaning of Title IX. Halting the way colleges and universities deal with allegations of sexual abuse and assault.We don’t prevent the proper authorities from investigating and prosecuting sexual assault effectively with due process.35
Improve Higher Education.Calling on state officials to preserve our public colleges, universities, and trade schools as places of learning and the exchange of ideas;  

Condemning campus-based Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaigns against Israel;

Ending “safe zones.”
Protect students 1st Amendment rights.35
Address college costs. Giving students access to financing options, and private sector participation in financing. The federal government is not in the business of originating student loans.35
Address college costs.Decoupling accreditation from federal financing;  

Empowering states to allow a wide array of accrediting and credentialing bodies to operate.
We encourage new modes of higher education delivery to enter the market.35

Wow! What a difference.

There’s one nice thing about the Republican Party adopting the 2016 platform. We can also check to see what progress has been made in the past almost 4 years. If you want to do that in a concrete way, please visit and use the search bar.

I gotta say, the two parties have widely different views about education. I can find things that make me scratch my head in both platforms. One is a real eye-opener for me. Yikes!

For anyone who thinks, ‘What’s the difference? All politicians are the same,’ I say NO WAY. The two platforms are leagues apart.

What do you think?  Was this enlightening?

It’s not easy to compare the two Platforms. They don’t use the same style or organization.  But, I’m determined to give it my best shot.

Next up: Leadership

The only category left is Leadership. I’m sure I can get that done next week I can get it done before November 3, the official Election Day.

It’s a wonder anyone can sort through all the facts.

If you missed my prior Party Plank reviews, here are the links:

Party Platform 2020: Immigration

Party Platform 2020: Our Democracy

Party Platform 2020: The Environment

Party Platform 2020: The Economy

Party Platform 2020: The pandemic

Party Platform 2020: Healthcare

Party Platform 2020: Criminal Justice


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