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A Timeline of the Education ‘Moments' from the 2016 Presidential Race

A Timeline of the Education ‘Moments' from the 2016 Presidential Race

While education has not been a major campaign issue throughout the 2016 presidential race, there have still been many education “moments” that have happened—moments that are useful to consider when deciding who to cast your vote for.

Here is a timeline of how Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton talked about education during their respective campaigns.

July 8, 2015: Donald Trump Criticizes Common Core, Department of Education

In an interview with Rush Limbaugh, Trump discussed his dislike for both the Common Core and the over-influence of the Department of Education.

He said: "I watched Jeb Bush. I think it's pathetic what's going on, his stance on Common Core. He's in favor of Washington educating your children.” 

August 14, 2015: Hillary Clinton Talks Special Education

In an interview with Iowa Public Radio, Clinton discussed her support of increasing the federal government’s support of special education programs throughout the country.

"When special ed became the law of the land and children with disabilities were to be mainstreamed into classrooms, the federal government promised to pick up 40% of the cost. So far as I remember, the Feds have picked up no more than 17 or 18% of the cost. I have as a senator, I would as a president, work to get that number up. We made a commitment which we have never fulfilled,” Clinton said. 

January 26, 2016: Donald Trump Releases Video to Express Commitment to Ending Common Core

Trump released a 51-second video to his YouTube page expressing his commitment to end Common Core. Trump was heavily criticized for misunderstanding how the standards work; the implementation of the standards are an independent decision of each state and any interference from or even incentivization by the federal government is illegal.

February 18, 2016: Clinton Discusses Plans to Fix School-to-Prison Pipeline

"There are still very real barriers holding back African Americans from fully participating in our society. That’s what I am here to talk about today,” Clinton said in a speech at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, NY.

It was the first time Clinton would discuss her intentions to commit $2 billion to “reform . . . school discipline practices and dramatically expand behavioral support programs for students.”

February 23, 2016: Clinton Plans to Support Disadvantaged School Children with Longer School Days, Years

During a CNN Democratic Town Hall, Clinton discussed her intentions to help disadvantaged children by pushing for both longer school days and years to level the playing field.

"A lot of disadvantaged kids get out and they actually lose some of the learning that they've gained during the year. So I want very much to expand the school day and the school year, and provide more structure. Starting with kids who would be most benefited from it, but I am in favor of states looking at how they might do that for every student,” she said.

May 10, 2016: Clinton Reveals Child Care Plan

To support affordable child care in what has become a desperate crisis, Clinton visited a social services center in Kentucky and revealed that she would support home-visiting programs for low-income children, a boost in pay for child care workers (the RAISE initiative, for “Respect And Increased Salaries for Early Childhood Educators”) and a guarantee that no family ever pays more than 10 percent of their income on child care expenses. 

May 20, 2016: Trump’s Campaign Manager Says He Would Legislate Against Liberal Arts

Sam Clovis, the national co-chair and policy director of Trump’s campaign, said in May 2016 that during Trump’s presidency he will work to make it harder for students in non-elite schools to study liberal arts.

“If you are going to study 16th century French art, more power to you. I support the arts. . . . But you are not going to get a job,” Clovis said. 

June 26, 2016: Clinton Announces Commitment to Computer Science in Schools

In her Technology and Innovation plan, Clinton announced she will put into motion the training of 50,000 teachers in computer science over ten years.

She also announced a commitment to bringing affordable, high-speed Internet to all U.S. households by the end of her first term.

September 8, 2016: Trump Calls Lack of School Choice ‘New Civil Rights Issue’ of Our Time

Formerly lacking a major education platform, Trump announced in early September that he was throwing his support behind expanding school choice programs in every state.

Trump said he would commit $20 billion in federal funding to "school choice policies that would give students and their families the option of attending traditional public schools, public charter or magnet schools, or even private schools,” said U.S. News. 

September 13, 2016: Trump Discusses His Child Care Proposal

Trump, who similarly agrees that affordable child care is a big issue in the U.S., proposed incentivizing child care workers to enter the profession and rewriting the tax code to "allow working parents to deduct from their income taxes child care expenses for up to four children and elderly dependents,” according to Trump’s website. 

October 27, 2016: Clinton Unveils Anti-Bullying Proposal

In late October, Clinton unveiled one of her final education proposals with a $500 billion commitment to funding anti-bullying programs in schools.

"We must teach our kids the value of kindness and provide them the social and emotional skills they need to develop healthy relationships. And we must address bullying for what it is: an urgent crisis that contributes to poor academic performance, increased incidence of depression, and in some extreme cases, suicide,” said Clinton on her website.

During the announcement, she also announced support for addressing cyberbullying, improving school climates, expanding social and emotional learning and investing in educators and school staff to be trained to deal with mental health issues in schools. 

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

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