The race to the White House came to an end Tuesday night. President Barack Obama will be serving a second term as the President of the United States. During his 2012 election campaign, he promised to help America build a better education system and wanted America to have the highest promotion of university graduates in the world by 2020.
A few months ago, President Obama proposed a one billion dollar effort to help students excel in math and science, known as the Master Teachers Program. A group of elite teachers will be a part of the program and their salaries will increase by $20,000 in an effort to put the best math and science educators in front of our students. “I’m running to make sure that America has the best education system on earth, from pre-K all the way to post-graduate,” said President Obama during a rally in July. Only time will tell if the program will be implemented in schools across the country or not.
As reported by the HuffingtonPost, Jeffrey Henig, a political scientist at Teachers College, Columbia University, said, “It’s clear the Obama administration will continue to make education a priority.” Henig predicts President Obama will look to improve how academic performance is measured, like designing new assessments students take.
Since being elected in 2008, President Obama has stopped student federal loan rates from doubling and increased funding for Pell grants for students that need financial aid. Additionally, he has adjusted the federal student loan system so that repayments are based on income rather the amount a student has borrowed.
Karen White, political director at the National Education Association (NEA), said during President Obama’s second term she will expect him to focus on early education and college affordability.
Imran Apollo, a student at Wichita State University, comments on why he supported President Obama’s education views, telling us, “Obama wanted to increase the budget for Pell grants, which would increase taxes. Romney wanted to decrease taxes by increasing the requirements to qualify for Pell grants, thereby reducing the overall amount of aid. Romney also stated that increasing aid only encourages colleges to increase tuition costs. While this may be true, I still felt that many families, middle class in particular, would have had significant trouble paying for tuition were they denied Pell aid, or if they received reduced aid.”
Another Wichita State University student, Courtney Seddon, weighed in on the re-election and how it will affect education, telling us, “I think Obama’s re-election will give a lot of educational opportunities to the younger generation; programs like “Pay as You Earn” and debt forgiveness make the financial burden of higher education so much easier.”
The Obama administration’s new program, “Pay as You Earn,” will reduce the payment cap on loan payments from 15% of the borrower’s income to 10%, which will accelerate loan forgiveness from 25 years to 20 years.
Education is a big issue for the country. Americans have high hopes for our education system. During the president’s first term in office he had created new policies and programs to better America’s education system. He has made college more affordable for individuals and eased the financial burden for graduated students.