« Will San Antonio Voters Tax Themselves for All-Day Pre-K? | Main | New York City Plans to Increase Early-Learning Access »

Would Head Start Be Spared in Romney Pledge to Not Cut Education?

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has unleashed a torrent of questions and speculation in the education sphere since saying in last night's debate with President Obama that he would not cut federal funding for education if he is elected.

Campaign 2012

As my political reporter colleagues Michele McNeil and Alyson Klein keenly observed, that statement is the most detailed he's made to date on education spending. But it also raises a ton more questions about what, exactly, he means. There are many ways to interpret those remarks.

But the biggest question in my mind is what that statement might mean for the Head Start program, which provides early-childhood education services to more than 1 million infants, toddlers, and preschoolers who are low-income.

Many early-childhood advocates and providers have been fearful that a Romney White House could spell doom for the $7.6 billion program, especially since he selected U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, to be his running mate. Ryan is best known for his plan that would carve $5.3 trillion from the federal budget over the next decade by slashing domestic spending.

So, would Romney cut or spare Head Start? It is an education program, albeit one that is overseen and funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He could certainly come back to make the argument that he meant he wouldn't cut programs that are housed in the U.S. Department of Education, for example.

Read his statement again...

"I'm not going to cut education funding. I don't have any plan to cut education funding and—and grants that go to people going to college...I'm not planning on making changes there. I don't want to cut our commitment to education. I want to make it more effective and efficient."

And give us your take.

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
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.


Most Viewed on Education Week



Recent Comments