Part II: What will education look like under a Biden administration?
As I shared here, Biden has an opportunity to fulfill his pledge of being a president for all Americans by supporting education opportunities outside of the traditional system that has left too many students behind. Will he fulfill this promise or put teachers’ unions and their agenda first? Only time will tell.
Here are a few other K-12 education areas that Biden’s campaign pledged to focus on, and what they mean for our children.
More funding over accountability
According to Biden’s campaign website, he has promised hundreds of billions of dollars in new education spending. Spending more on schools may be popular, but the shortcomings and disparities that continue to plague our education system require policy solutions, not further cash infusions. Unfortunately, Biden has emphasized funding over new forms of accountability. As we have seen in Minnesota, lack of accountability means the dollars don’t always get used efficiently or effectively.
Focus on “neighborhood public schools”
In his campaign, Biden pledged to focus on “neighborhood public schools” rather than charter schools. “And he ran on outspoken opposition to the efforts to use public funds to help children attend private schools,” reports Education Week. One size does not fit all, though, and too many students have been left behind by the status quo. Families who intentionally seek out other learning environments, such as charter schools, often do so because the neighborhood public schools failed them. These families are also often families of color or low-income families. Biden could risk alienating this base if he undermines the schools they like or pick.
Close alliance with teachers’ unions
It is no secret the teachers’ unions have long been a political ally of the Democratic Party, and they put a lot of money toward their political agenda and getting Biden elected. Recently, the National Education Association (NEA) released its 54-page “Policy Playbook” that contains a list of policies at the federal level the teachers’ union wants the Biden administration to prioritize. A quick scan of the wish list reveals several very concerning proposals that would hurt students and families.