third party education policy views

Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson pumped us ...
Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson pumped us up to run in the Salt Lake Marathon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I will cover Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party and Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party today and the Green Party will be covered in another post. Other third parties will not be covered here.

Justice Party

Candidate Rocky Anderson wants to:
Institute free education through four years of college or comparable job training as a right

The Justice Party looks to have few differences from the Green Party and the Justice Party also call for free education K-12 and college or comparable work training. I couldn't find much else on specific on education in Anderson's platform. I did find a reference to an after school program Anderson started in one of his speeches:

Rocky Anderson's speech | The Salt Lake Tribune: "I experienced first-hand, as a single father, a lack of enriching, affordable after-school and summer youth programs. I responded with great sadness as our local and state elected officials neglected, year after year, the crucial issues of poor air quality, automobile dependence, political corruption, sprawl development, destruction of open spaces, global warming, and dependence on foreign oil, which has led us to a tragic, unconscionable war and self-destructive foreign policy. I was frustrated by the neglect of opportunities for a safer, healthier, more sustainable local community, nation, and world by those who were more concerned with short-term profits than with people and our planet."

Libertarian Party
Johnson has lots of education positions and I will be discussing vouchers in an upcoming post on school funding as well as the Federal role in education.
English: Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johns...
English: Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson at the Nullify Now! event in Phoenix, Arizona.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gary Johnson on the Issues:  Positions include an end to the Department of Education,  a universal voucher that doesn't fully drain public monies,  and ending (possibly) student loans as they cause higher tuition.

American education is at a crossroads. We can either choose to continue down the path of higher costs, poorer results, and top-down thinking, or challenge the status quo by using what actually works rather than what we wish would work. The problem is public education in America is now doing less with more. This is unsustainable for our pocketbooks and, most importantly, unfair to our children.

Now, imagine an educational system that not only educates students better, but also does it for less money every year. It would give each American child the opportunity to choose an individualized education to realize his or her dreams.

All parents should have an opportunity to know choose which school their children attend. By putting educational funds in the hands of the people who use it gives parents and students a vote as to which schools are best and which need to improve. It's time to free individuals from burdensome federal mandates so they can pursue the right educational strategies.

See link for breakouts of each statement.  Gary Johnson on the Issues
  • Public education system needs major reform. (Aug 2012)
  • Vouchers OK for church childcare & church schools. (Aug 2012)
  • $3,500 voucher for every K-12 student. (Aug 2012)
  • Vouchers are as constitutional as pre-school and day-care. (Aug 2012)
  • Competition would make our schools better. (Aug 2012)
  • I support evolution; but no federal involvement. (May 2012)
  • No student loans; they cause higher tuition. (Nov 2011)**
  • Education Dept. takes 16 cents for every 11 cents it gives. (Sep 2011)
  • Abolish Departments of Education and HUD. (Aug 2011)
  • Give every student in New Mexico vouchers worth $3,500. (Jul 2011)
  • Put educational funds in the hands of the people who use it. (May 2011)
  • End the Department of Education. (May 2011)
  • No student loans; they cause higher tuition. (Feb 2011)
** It is not clear that Johnson (list does link to full quotes) would end loans or if he stating that they have increased tuition. Ending student loans would create a huge gap and what would be provided instead is not clear but Johnson may have stated that somewhere I did not see.

Lottery Scholarships
Johnson helped create New Mexico's excellent lottery scholarship program which is wide open and has few filters (common "merit" and grade filters ration college by class status and reduce the depth and strength of college access programs for states that want college attendance.) States that determine they want college graduates need to make that path widely and easily accessible somehow; California's vaunted college access program, gone now, is a widely heralded example of this. New Mexico's lottery scholarship program could be adopted more widely.

The Libertarian Party platform has this plank which would give parents control of the per-child monies allotted by compulsory attendance. This would allow parents to make some choices among schools but not choice or power within the schools themselves in any direct way. Since schools are tightly regulated by credit hour and days attended and common core, the so-called choices will be greatly restricted.

Official Libertarian platform is much less specific than Johnson's campaign:

Platform | Libertarian Party: "2.8 Education
Education is best provided by the free market, achieving greater quality, accountability and efficiency with more diversity of choice. Recognizing that the education of children is a parental responsibility, we would restore authority to parents to determine the education of their children, without interference from government. Parents should have control of and responsibility for all funds expended for their children's education."

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