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Charters and Choice

How can we give students options when their public schools are failing them?


Candidate Perspectives

College Access

College: Can't afford not to go, can't afford to go...


Candidate Perspectives


The Dropout Dilemma

What are the real costs of dropping out?


Candidate Perspectives

No Child Left Behind

What exactly is NCLB and how is it effecting our education system?


Pros and Cons

What's Next?

Candidate Perspectives

Early Childhood Education

How do we ensure that all children are prepared to enter kindergarten?


In Focus: Head Start

Candidate Perspectives


Why are we struggling to recruit and retain teachers? What reforms do the candidates propose to solve the teacher shortage and improve their working conditions?


Candidate Perspectives


With a struggling economy, should lawmakers place further emphasis on federally-funded school-to-work programs? Moreover, do they work?


Candidate Perspectives


Candidate Perspectives on College Access



The Issues:

Student Loans

Federal Grants


Undocumented Students

GI Bill

Community College


Student Loans Return to top


The candidates do not mention in their presidential education plans specifically reducing loans or reducing interest rates. Barack Obama has mentioned in an interview that he would like to eliminate student loan companies and supports a direct student loan program. John McCain is currently urging state policymakers to prepare for a loan crisis that might make it difficult for students to take out loans.

For more Info on Barack Obama, click here.

For more info on John McCain, click here.

  Federal Grants Return to top  

Barack Obama has in his capacity as Senator worked on increasing the amount of the Pell grant awarded and as president will continue increasing the Pell grant as the cost of college increases. Obama plans on increasing the maximum Pell Grant awarded to $5,400.


AmeriCorps Return to top

  Barack Obama, once president, plans on expanding AmeriCorps slots from 75,000 to 250,000
While in Senate, John McCain signed a letter to the President in support of increased funding for AmeriCorps.

Undocumented Students Return to top


Barack Obama supports the DREAM act as a way to increased college access for all students. He says, ““Our immigration policy should be legal, orderly, humane, and safe. And we should give immigrant children the chance to attend college. I supported and helped pass the Illinois state version of the DREAM Act … . I believe that all students, regardless of national origin, deserve an equal opportunity to a high quality public education. Under current law, students who were brought to the United States years ago as undocumented immigrant children and who have stayed and excelled in and out of school have no hope of attending college with affordable in-state tuition.”

As a senator, John McCain skipped the vote for the DREAM Act, though he has claimed rhetorical support for the issue.


GI Bill Return to top


Barack Obama supported the G.I. Bill.  After the May 2008 vote, Obama commented upon his vote, declaring, “There are many issues that lend themselves to partisan posturing, but giving our veterans the chance to go to college should not be one of them.”

John McCain voted against the G.I.Bill, and is in support of President Bush’s threatened veto.  McCain does not support the Bill because he fears rewarding soldiers who have served with college tuition will depress enlistment, and encourage people to leave the military for college rather than continuing service.

For more information about the G.I. Bill debates, check out this news source.

Community College Return to top

Barack Obama has boisterously declared community colleges an essential part of his plan for higher education reform:  “The ever-expanding American dream ... That’s the legacy and promise of a community college system in America.”  Obama’s plan includes a $4,000 grant for college education through the American Opportunity Tax Credit, as well as providing more grants to community colleges in order to increase financial aid to students. 
Check out this PDF.

John McCain has no official plan to support community colleges, but has identified reform of Unemployment Insurance a priority, which he believes will strengthen community colleges by “giving displaced workers more choices to find their way back to productive and prosperous lives.” 
Check out this link.


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