« Who Had the Best Education Record as Governor: Kaine or Pence? | Main | See Ed. Dept. Guidance on Using Federal Aid for School Turnarounds Under ESSA »

Quick Mentions of Desegregation, K-12 Funding in V.P. Debate

VP-Debate-Blog-Kaine-Pence-Blog.jpg

Vice-presidential nominees Tim Kaine and Mike Pence have long records on education. But neither of them talked very much about them in their first and only debate, at Longwood University in Farmville, Va., Tuesday. 

If you blinked you might have missed them, but there were a couple of quick mentions of K-12 education. Kaine, for instance, kicked off the debate by talking about school integration. He likened his running mate, Hillary Clinton, a Democrat, to Barbara Johns, a high school student in Farmville who lead a walkout at Moton High School in 1951 to protest segregation. 

"She believed our nation was stronger together," Kaine said, invoking Clinton's campaign slogan. "And that walkout led to the Brown v. Board of Education decision that moved us down the path toward equality."

School desegregation is also a key part of the personal story that Kaine has been telling on the campaign trail. His father-in-law, Linwood Holton, lead the effort to desegregate Virginia's schools back in the 1970's. Holton sent his own children—including Kaine's future wife, Anne Holton—to newly integrated schools. (Anne Holton later served as Virginia's education secretary. Check out our interview with her here.)

For his part, Pence repeated a claim he's made several times on the trail that he was able to make "record Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for electionslug_2016_126x126.jpginvestments" in education in his state, while finishing with a surplus.

That's true when it comes to sheer dollars, according to this fact check by Larry DeBoer, an economist at Purdue University in the Hoosier State. Pence raised education spending by about $480 million over two years. But that only amounts to a 2.3 percent increase.  But between 2000 and 2008, education spending rose by 2.7 percent on average in the Hoosier state.

Kaine gave a couple of shout-outs to his ticket's plans to boost education funding. He said he and Clinton want to invest in "pre-K education to great teachers to debt-free college and tuition-free college for families that make less than $125,000 a year." 

Plus, he said reports that Trump may have avoided paying income taxes for years, as chronicled in this New York Times story, means that the GOP nominee refused to finance schools.

Kaine also attacked Republican nominee Donald Trump's immigration plan, saying it would mean going from "school to school" and deporting undocumented immigrants. 

And he told the crowd the "true test" of a Clinton-Kaine administration would be whether "we can make somebody's life better, whether we can make a classroom better learning environment for school kids or teachers."

So what are those records that Kaine and Pence didn't talk about? Kaine has been a big believer in career and technical education. And as governor of Virginia, he pushed to offer universal pre-kindergarten to all four-year olds, but couldn't get the legislature to agree. He was able to secure a more modest expansion of early childhood education programs, however

Pence, who voted against the No Child Left Behind Act in Congress, has been very active in championing school choice as governor of the Hoosier State. He successfully pushed for the biggest increase for charter school funding in years, and he raised the cap on vouchers for elementary school students. Like Kaine, he sought to expand early childhood education. But initially, he refused to seek a substantial federal grant to bolster that effort. And under his leadership, Indiana was the first state to ditch the Common Core. 

Photo: Democratic vice-presidential nominee Sen. Tim Kaine speaks during the vice-presidential debate with Republican vice-presidential nominee Gov. Mike Pence at Longwood University in Farmville, Va. on Oct. 4.

—Julio Cortez/AP


Don't miss another Politics K-12 post. Sign up here to get news alerts in your email inbox.

Follow us on Twitter at @PoliticsK12.

 

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login |  Register
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Follow This Blog

Advertisement

Most Viewed on Education Week

Categories

Archives

Recent Comments

  • YARGI YAYINLARI: I¡¦m now not sure where you are getting your info, read more
  • stop smoking: you have an incredible blog here! would you wish to read more
  • web hosting: Campaign K-12: 'Only Bill Richardson Has a Bold Plan for read more
  • kpss: What is Taking place i am new to this, I read more
  • domy RzeszĂłw: Iˇ¦ve recently started a website, the information you offer on read more