If you’re paying attention to the debates for 2016 POTUS, the topic of K12 Education is apparently irrelevant.
Tonight, the Democrats will face off in the final debate before New Hampshire voters pick their primary winner. All polls indicate Bernie Sanders will easily win the state.
On the Republican side, the race is murkier. One major question is whether or not Trump’s poll numbers will prove illusory, as they were in Iowa. Voters get a final look at the candidates on Saturday night, as ABC hosts yet another debate. One imagines there are many New Hampshire residents paying close attention.
What I predict to see in both these debates is the continuance of a troubling trend this campaign season.
Mainly, a total lack of questions concerning K12 education.
I understand that the economy, income inequality, national security, and healthcare are all major concerns. And I don’t hold that against voters.
But as the remaining politicians duke it out over how to confront these problems, millions of American children continue to suffer in underperforming and neglected schools.
Where you would expect this topic to naturally arise is on the Democratic side. Long identifying themselves as the party who cares about the overlooked in society, the fact that urban schools regularly – almost without exception – underperform their wealthier suburban counterparts should be fertile ground for Dem discussion.
But if you’ve paid attention at all this campaign season, you know the issue has not really arisen. Not even once.
And since the main victims of these chronically failing schools are minorities, it seems even more improbable that Democrats have nothing to say.
Until you remember they are regularly funded by Teachers Unions.
Over on the Republican side, it has been all but impossible to hear any debate question veer from the subjects of terrorism, surveillance, taxes, and electability. Whoever is choosing these debate topics should venture outside the echo chamber of Republican “issues.”
Because it would be nice – nay, imperative – for voters to know where both sides stand on K12 Education before another state goes to the primaries.
Photo: Flickr/Alex Hanson