Priorities, Politics and Funding

K-12 education, an issue that affects every child in America, is one of the least talked about issues in the 2016 presidential race. While the candidates ignoring education may be short-sighted, it should come as no surprise. According to the March 2-6 Gallup poll, only 4 percent of Americans consider education the nation's most important problem. The economy and unemployment topped the list at 28 percent. Dissatisfaction with government came in second at 15 percent. At least 5 percent of Americans mention several other issues including immigration, healthcare, race relations, terrorism, the election and the federal budget deficit.  Education did not even hit the 5 percent mark. 

When it comes to politics, the K-12 education topics discussed the most by the 2016 presidential candidates include school choice, charter schools, voucher programs, common core, standardized testing, a return to state and local control, character education, and the shrinking or abolishing of the U.S. Department of Education. 

Issues where there appears to be a general consensus are:

  • every parent should have a choice, and school choice should be promoted all across the country – for the rich and for the poor;
  • charter schools should be part of the mix;
  • common core is not the right move and there should be a return to local control.

Funding for education did not even make the candidates list, so the question is – with education falling so far down on the priority list, will increased funding for K-12 become a priority in 2017.