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How do President Biden and former President Trump differ on education?

Scripps News breaks down the issues that set the candidates apart on curriculum, student loans and education policy.
Trump Biden
Posted at 5:11 PM, May 27, 2024

For 10 weeks, ahead of the conventions, Scripps News is going in-depth on the issues that will impact your vote. We have covered so far gun violence, health care and reproductive rights. So what about schools?

EDUCATION

It is something that has become a bit more political in recent years: Your child's education.

Four years ago, the presidential candidates talked a lot about what COVID mandates should or should not exist in schools.

In 2024, there is less COVID discussion, but still stark differences in education policies.

PRIVATE AND PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Let's start with the debate over public and private school funding.

President Biden opposes vouchers for students who can't afford to attend private schools. Former President Trump supports them.

In a social media post in 2020, President Biden outlined his position:

Former President Trump made efforts to expand voucher programs and school choice while in office.

In 2017, he brought students who receive vouchers to the White House saying this is "what winning for young children and kids from all over the country looks like."

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

President Biden and former President Trump have a fundamental disagreement over the role of the federal government and the Department of Education.

While both recognize many issues are handled at the local level, former President Trump has gone so far as to say the Department of Education should be eliminated and has called for mass firings of many Department of Education officials.

WHAT SHOULD BE TAUGHT

The candidates differ on what should and should not be taught in the classroom.

"I never thought I'd be in, present in a time, when there's a national effort to ban books," Biden told graduates during a speech at Moorehouse College.

Former President Trump previously promised to "...cut any funding for schools pushing critical race theory."

Another area of disagreement is student loan forgiveness.

President Biden supports widespread student loan forgiveness.

Former President Trump opposed and praised a Supreme Court decision that blocked President Biden's forgiveness plan.

A big difference too is teachers' unions.

President Biden has been endorsed by teachers unions and spoken about how they can help advocate for educators

Teachers unions have never endorsed former president Trump and has said that a quote "union wall" has harmed education.