Policy Analysis: Trump vs Clinton

Education Policy | 2016 Campaign Issues

Trump vs. Clinton: Education Policy

The major issues surrounding education in the current election cycle include higher education affordability and federal education standards like Common Core and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). For the most part, Trump and Clinton disagree on the many of the policy objectives of the federal government in regulating education.

The Student Loan Dilemma

First championed by Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton has slowly come around to the idea of making public higher education tuition-free in America. Her plan calls for all public colleges and universities in America to be tuition-free for students coming from families that make less than $125,000 annually. These students would then be expected to work at least 10 hours/week to help offset costs. Additionally, she has advocated for an expansion of the federal Pell grant program.

Trump’s plan to address the student loan dilemma consists of reorganizing student loan distributions to originate from banks, not the federal government, & forcing colleges have some skin in the game

Common Core

From the very beginning of his campaign, Trump has been unapologetically against Common Core standards, using his stance on Common Core to contrast himself against his Republican primary opponents. He considers Common Core to be a “disaster” and promises to repeal it as soon as he elected. Hillary Clinton has supported Common Core for years, advocating for voluntary federal standards in math and science.

ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act)

While admitting that the Every Student Succeeds Act is not perfect, Clinton wants to build on its successes. She believes the federal government must continue to provide funding so that the bill’s standards are met in all states. Trump has not taken a position on ESSA, however, as EdWeek points out, the bill redistributes a lot of authority back to the states, something conservatives would likely support.

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Photo (crop): Trump Clinton by Furfur is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

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