September Government Relations Update

Education Highlights from Democratic and GOP Platforms With the nominating conventions behind us, both the Republican and Democratic parties laid out further their stances on education in their respective party platforms:

Democratic Party – The 2012 Democratic platform emphasized the importance of education throughout the document, echoed by President Obama’s acceptance speech. Education was cited as critical in rebuilding middle class security, strengthening the American community and promoting prosperity in the global economy. The Democrats highlighted their commitment to “ensuring that every child in America has access to a world-class public education so we can out-educate the world and make sure America has the world’s highest proportion of college graduates by 2020,” and to “working with states and communities so they have the flexibility and resources they need to improve elementary and secondary education in a way that works best for students.” Additionally, Democrats mentioned plans “to prevent more teacher layoffs while attracting and rewarding great teachers” and to “continue the improvements in refundable tax credits for low-income families to encourage work and education while lifting families out of poverty.”

Republican Party – The 2012 Republican platform focused on family responsibility for education, support for school choice and revamping federal educational funding.  The Republicans emphasized their belief that “parents are responsible for the education of their children. We do not believe in a one size fits all approach to education and support providing broad education choices to parents and children at the State and local level.” They supported “innovations in education reform occurring at the State level based upon proven results” rather than increased federal funding, and school options such as “single-sex classes, full-day school hours, and year-round schools. School choice – whether through charter schools, open enrollment requests, college lab schools, virtual schools, career and technical education programs, vouchers, or tax credits – is important for all children, especially for families with children trapped in failing schools.”

Forum on American Competitiveness While attending the DNC in Charlotte, Rita Ferrandino also took in a Forum on American Competitiveness hosted by Duke Energy and Verizon. Panelists who spoke about America’s role in a global economy included Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State; Walter Isaacson, Aspen Institute President and CEO; and Michael Porter, Bishop William Lawrence University Professor at Harvard Business School. You can view a video of the forum online.

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