The Critical Situation of Education
The first few years under any presidential administration are incredibly noteworthy. It is a chance for underrated victors to establish their dominance and political expertise amongst their equally capable peers, or for overrated ones to show how underqualified they are for their elected jobs.
In the case of Joe Biden, though, it was a time for both. Many members of both the Democratic and Republican Parties support his policies and ideals, while others condemn his decisions. Regarding the inflation of gas prices, his overall approval rating amongst citizens of the United States plummeted. The same could be said for his handling of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the unpredictable rise and fall of stocks. However, an issue that the Biden Administration handled with very little internal division was in the field of education.
Issue at Hand
Education, by nature, is a very touchy subject. It is a luxury that should be prized and taken advantage of. Many countries don’t have access to it, and those that do rarely maximize its capabilities or effects.
Nevertheless, according to the Biden Administration, “President Biden believes that a post-high school education” should be prioritized, as he feels it “should be a ticket to a middle-class life.” He also understands, though, that student loans are a heavy debt weighing on the backs of the best and brightest Americans.
To combat this issue, the administration promised early on in their campaign to provide student debt relief. To many, it was believed to be just a promise, just a claim that aligns with the infamous triangulation strategy politicians use to get elected. However, on August 24th 2022, President Biden and his team of officials came through with their promise.
Since 1980, the cost of public and private secondary education has nearly tripled, and the debt that comes along with it has proven to be a burden on those trying to build a future and a life for their families. After debuting a three-part plan, Biden plans to target debt relief, make the student loan system less convoluted, and prevent a future debt crisis by holding public and private institutions accountable for their respective prices to learn.
Joe Biden has also been able to successfully reopen the majority of primary schools for in-person learning and provide relief to schools suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic. The event initially proved to be a difficult obstacle to take on, with many schools going virtual or opting to shut down completely. Under the 46th president’s guidance, these have been able to reopen with minimal health crises and repercussions and fill the vacancies left by students who changed districts or opted to drop out.
The Future of Education
These progressive decisions are a change of pace from the American education system under the guidance of ex-Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who believed in the privatization of public schools, the neglect of special education for children with learning disabilities, and the consideration of administrative gun handling within classrooms, all of which were ideas that were met with widespread disapproval and concern.
Biden, however, holds more agreeable ideals and claims, and will even take the education initiative a step forward to advance educational equity. He believes he can do so by providing educators and administrative officials with the financial support to maintain consistent educational employment and supply resources necessary for adolescent learning. By creating a safe environment for teachers, a safe environment is in turn created for students and their guardians.
He also hopes to address the digital divide between privileged students and students suffering from communal impoverishment and a lack of financial funding, as well as to double the number of student resource officers, psychologists, nurses, and social workers to tend to the mental and physical health of students.
While these claims are extraordinarily ambitious, there is something to be said for a campaign that has strong morals and has detailed plans written out to tackle the issues facing everyday Americans. And with time ticking towards the 2024 election and Biden’s approval rating continuing to change, these next few years could either make or break the future of Biden’s political career and social reputation.