Elephant vs. donkey: Students have a clear choice in November

Republican+presidential+candidate+Mitt+Romney%2C+left%2C+and+U.S.+President+Barack+Obama+shake+hands+before+the+first+presidential+debate+at+Denver+University+on+Wednesday%2C+October+3%2C+2012%2C+in+Denver%2C+Colorado.+

MCT Campus

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, left, and U.S. President Barack Obama shake hands before the first presidential debate at Denver University on Wednesday, October 3, 2012, in Denver, Colorado.

Fahima Paghmani

President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney bump heads in many areas, but when the attention is pointed towards education, both parties could not emphasize more the importance of this topic.  Although Obama and Romney each have their own agendas in regards to education, they seem to completely agree on its necessity and the need to provide assistance for it.

If elected as president, Gov. Romney has a very controlling agenda for America’s educational policy. He opposes putting federal dollars behind students, forcing parents to pick the option that best meets the needs for their child and their own pockets. Romney promises to eliminate unnecessary certification requirements that would discourage new and future teachers. He also promises to reward great teachers through raises, flexibility, and block grants.

If re-elected, President Obama has assured the nation the hiring of thousands of new teachers, which can be tracked back to the promises made during his first term in office. Obama puts the emphasis on more teachers, not more resourceful teachers. Obama comes in with a strong hand and pushes the call for more teachers being hired in order to establish a more reliable education.

When watching the debates, pay attention to Romney’s word choice, and notice how he’s never specific, and in fact, he’s extremely vague. This should put up a red flag for potential unreliability.

Furthermore, for the higher education students, Romney promises to strengthen and simplify the financial aid system, welcome private sector participation, and replace burdensome regulation with innovation and competition.

On the other hand, Obama “Creates the American Opportunity Tax Credit” which will make college affordable for more Americans.  The plan promises a full refundable credit line that will ensure the first $4,000 of a college education is completely free for those that qualify. Obama also assures the public that it will cover two-thirds the cost of tuition on an average public university and will make community college tuition completely free to most students. He will also simplify the application process for financial aid by eliminating the current federal financial aid application and enabling families to apply simply by checking a box on their tax form. This allows tax information to be used more accessible and removes the need for a separate application.

Now, when you look into the pros and cons of both leading parties, which party assures us of hiring more teachers? At just the peak of 2012, 70 percent of responding colleges in a California Community Colleges survey reported reduction in enrollment and course sections. Cuts in staffing have made in 87 percent waitlisted for classes. From 2011-2012 the community college system reduced summer and winter sections by nearly 50 percent due to reduced funding.

The promise for more teachers will mean the opening of more classes which means higher admission rates. Also, if being promised almost free tuition in community college, shouldn’t we focus on that one president who really wants to better us in the education.

If re-elected as president, Obama will change and improve our education system by providing us with the resources that can help us achieve our goals in education. He will be giving us more teachers and affordable to free tuition. So voters concerned in improving public education should have a very clear choice in the upcoming November elections.