The nation’s public education system is seeing dramatic gains: the graduation rate reached an all-time high in 2015 and the drop-out rate fell. Compared to 2008, over 1 million more black and Latino students are enrolling in college and college completion is now at record levels. Still, 48 states are spending less on higher education than they did in 2008 and 31 states spend less per pupil on K-12 public education than they were in 2008. Consequently, persistent achievement gaps remain between white and minority students and affluent and low-income students.
The GOP presidential hopefuls are pushing for dramatic cuts to federal education funding targeted for at-risk students and making college more affordable. For instance, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have called for the elimination of the Department of Education — which means 8 million college students could lose their Pell grants and thousands more could be denied federal civil rights protections.
Quick Facts: National
- Common Core was state led and teacher driven — GOP candidates want you to think otherwise. TWEET
- More than half of American public school students live in poverty. TWEET
- The top 25 hedge fund managers together made more money than every kindergarten teacher in America combined in 2014. TWEET
- Americans owe $1.3 trillion in student debt — and that number is growing. TWEET
Quick Facts: Pre-K
- Investing in early childhood education — like universal, high-quality pre-K — can narrow the school readiness gap. Disadvantaged children who participate in high-quality pre-K programs gain up to 1 year of additional learning. TWEET
- Only 34% of US kids are enrolled in public pre-K. TWEET
- For every $1 invested in early childhood education, the public receives $7 in benefits. TWEET
- Equal access to high-quality child care and pre-k would increase GDP by $551 billion. TWEET