President Obama understands nothing is more important to our country’s future than educating our children. He believes a good education is an economic necessity for every American and vital to creating a long-lasting national economy. He believes that to create jobs and restore middle-class security, the United States must out-innovate and out-educate our global competitors.
That’s why in 2012, the U.S. Department of Education provided Nevada 56 grants totaling $252,664,055. It’s why the President has taken numerous actions to ensure Nevada, like the rest of the nation, is educating for the future.
Recognizing that education begins at birth, President Obama invested $5 billion in Early Childhood Education and Child Care programs, expanding access to an additional 400,000 children. That added 3,750 Latino, African American, and AAPI children in Nevada to programs like Head Start.
It’s been proven that a single good teacher can increase the lifetime income of a classroom by $250,000. That’s why President Obama signed the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act, providing $10 billion in critical aid to communities with budget shortfalls so they wouldn’t have to fire educators. Nevada schools received more than $175 million in assistance as well as $83.1 million in emergency funds, helping create or save more than 4,300 jobs across the state.
President Obama has committed to training 100,000 new science and math teachers over the next decade. He also proposed creating a new Master Teacher Corps comprised of the nation’s finest educators in science, technology, engineering, and math.
President Obama partnered with States to Raise Standards through Race to the Top to reward states for making tough educational reforms. Since 2010, and for less than 1 percent of the yearly education budget, the President’s Race to the Top initiative spurred 46 states (including Nevada) to raise academic standards.
President Obama is offering states relief from No Child Left Behind mandates so they have the flexibility to use local solutions to improve local schools. Nevada received a waiver so the state could decide, without a federal mandate, how to improve student performance, evaluate educators and administrators and turn around poorly performing schools.
Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the President invested in summer and year-round jobs for disadvantaged youth that placed over 367,000 young people in summer jobs.
Americans today owe more in student loans than they do in credit cards. It’s crucial we keep higher education affordable so more Americans can get a fair shot at learning the skills they need to find and keep a good job. President Obama has taken historic steps to help students afford college:
Nearly six million borrowers could benefit from the President’s loan consolidation initiative, which reduces interest rates and lowers monthly payments for students by moving more than $68 billion from big banks.<
Teachers, nurses, and members of the armed forces will have their student loans forgiven after 10 years if they make repayments on time.
Federal student loan payments are capped at 10 percent of an individual’s monthly income. Remaining debt will be forgiven after 20 years for those who pay on time.
President Obama created the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which allows families with tuition expenses to receive a tax credit for up to $2,500 for up to four years per student. In Nevada, 81,000 students’ families received an average tax credit of $1,700 to help cover the cost of tuition, fees and books.
President Obama doubled investments in Pell grants so nearly 10 million students could receive financial aid for college. In Nevada, 33,000 students receive Pell grants each year. By the 2020-2021 school year, an additional 820,000 Pell grants will be awarded.
President Obama invested $2 billion in competitive grants for community colleges. He also signed into law an update to the post 9-11 G.I. bill, which extends more benefits to National Guard members who performed active service and allows education benefits to transfer to family members.
In contrast, former Governor Mitt Romney has a history of making it harder for middle class families to send their children to college. During his first year as governor of Massachusetts, he forced schools to take the second-largest cut in the country, leading to massive teacher layoffs. At the same time, he cut taxes for the state’s wealthiest residents, costing taxpayers $78 million.
Romney and Ryan would continue this pattern. They would gut investments in education to give tax breaks to wealthy Americans like Romney, risking up to 65,000 educators’ jobs. They would abandon our national promise to improving the lowest-performing schools and instead expand private-school vouchers, which have been tried and studied for decades but fail to help students achieve.
Just consider how the extreme Romney-Ryan budget would hurt Nevada:
Deny Head Start access to 1,000 children
Slash funding for K-12 and special education by $35 million
Eliminate Pell grants for 41,000 students
Let President Obama’s college tax credit expire, making college more expensive for 81,000 families in Nevada
Meanwhile, over the last four years, President Obama has demonstrated his commitment to making sure students in Nevada and across the nation receive the education they need to succeed in college and compete in the global marketplace. He knows, like you, that education matters. Join him in standing up for our children’s future.