Obama and Romney on Special Education

Barack Obama Mitt Romney

Tomorrow is Election Day. If you’re still undecided about which candidate is right for you, you are not alone. What is important is that you as a voter make an informed decision whether you’d like to see President Obama or Governor Romney as the next President of the United States based on their respective stances on issues you care about.

If you’re a parent of a special needs child, one of those issues may be in the realm of education. Today, special education is a major component of a candidate’s education plan with schools taking the burden of providing quality teaching to students with special needs and struggling along the way.

What is not surprising is that neither President Obama nor Governor Romney provide a clear cut way to deal with special education. It was either under the guises of several education initiatives or intertwined in other areas such as early education and technology innovation in schools.

Last month, Alyson Klein of EducationWeek attended the Republican National Convention and Democratic National Convention and spoke with NPR on each candidate’s respective stance on special education. While taking information on each candidate’s historical moves, we have created a comparison chart below. This chart is only a starting point and meant to help readers conduct further research.

President Obama Governor Romney
  • President Obama’s FY13 budget seeks to provide an additional $20 million for early intervention services for children with disabilities in their first years of life.
    Source: Disability Scoop
  • President Obama seeks to keep IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) funding level stable which can freeze special education grants, while building his Race to the Top program that rewards schools that improve all-around.
    Source: Disability Scoop
  • Governor Romney would like to provide the option for parents of low income and special needs students to choose which school to attend by making Title I and IDEA Funds portable.
    Source: MittRomney.com
  • As Governor, Mitt Romney slashed $2.3 million from special education, and $25 million from school readiness grants, early literacy programs, and school meals for low-income students.
    Source: Vineland
  • According to Alyson Klein, both President Obama and Governor Romney would like to see charter schools grow as an option for education amongst parents and students. Source: NPR
  • In addition, President Obama and Governor Romney seek to reform teacher evaluation. Source: NPR

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