Posted by 28 May 2019
Joe Biden is running for president, and he thinks that his path to the White House runs through the schoolhouse.
Speaking before the American Federation of Teachers yesterday, the former vice president laid out his education plan. The cornerstone of his proposal is a big increase in federal spending.
Currently, the federal government’s main education program is known as Title I. This sends federal money to low-income school districts. Under Biden’s plan, Title I spending would be tripled. He would earmark this money for teacher raises, pre-kindergarten expansion, and advanced courses (such as AP classes). He is also proposing more funding for school psychologists and efforts to diversify schools.
This plan represents a break from past federal education efforts, which aimed to tie funding to accountability measures. Under the Biden proposal, funds would flow regardless of test scores or other attempts to link the money to improved education outcomes.
Critics argue that this is simply a federal giveaway of taxpayer dollars without leveraging the money so states improve education. Supporters argue that poorer school districts need this money to catch up to their wealthier counterparts.
With his campaign just beginning, Biden is not proposing a bold new reform idea. Instead, he is appealing to a Democratic constituency -- teachers -- with a proposal that would provide more federal funding for them.
Do you think the federal government should increase education spending? Should federal dollars be tied to improved educational outcomes?