hero image

The next presidential election in the U.S is rapidly drawing closer, and Democratic presidential candidates are already making promises such as changes to education spending.

As usual, the promises are big, and some might even be described as a bit too ambitious, but that is always expected in politics. During the recent Democratic presidential election debates, some of the Democratic candidates promised to invest a significant amount of money on K-12 education. Some of the candidates pledged to double or even triple their spend on Title I. The latter is the U.S Department of education’s largest public school program.

So far, the Department of Education’s entire education budget annually is $72.8 billion. If a Democratic presidential candidate wins the race to the White House and makes good on their promise to quadruple the Title I spending, then the program’s budget alone will rise to $65.2 billion.

Six major presidential candidates have pledged to increase their spending on the education sector dramatically. They include Joe Biden, who previously served as a Vice President of the United States, Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Each of them has promised to up the ante in major education programs and some in smaller programs such as those run by community schools.

Some of the candidates promised to provide full funding for special education programs that were launched as part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. None of the presidential aspirants from the Democratic side have presented a solid figure except for Warren. Perhaps a better approach that the presidential candidates should consider is developing a new program that would receive funding from the Federal government. This approach would offer more efficiency in the pursuit of more education spending.

There are also potential situations where programs in education spending might end up with lower budgets depending on the candidate that wins the race. For example, Warren and Sanders plan to terminate funding meant for the expansion of charter schools. The charter schools program is a Federal program that was mainly created to facilitate the growth of charters, and the allocated budget for this program in 2020 is $440 million.