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September 9, 2012 by kguzman707

   Latinos are now the largest minority group on college campuses, announced Senior Research Associate Richard Fry at Pew Hispanic. With a growing Hispanic population and the upcoming elections, the matter of education deserves a high degree of attention. A good education is important because depending on the education received, that will be a major deciding factor in the opportunities of an individual. Part of the rise in Latinos at college campuses has to do with the increasing rates of high school completion. According to Pew Hispanic, about 76 percent of Latinos between ages 18 and 24 received their high school diploma or GED in 2011. Pew Hispanic says that with the tougher job market, more Latinos are choosing to pursue a college education. Yet another important reason behind the increasing Latino student success is the amount of funds and efforts put in by the government in the past 15 years towards Hispanic- serving institutions. With these reported improvements, it makes sense to focus on education. If education is important to the United States as a whole, it is even more important to the Latino community. One of Mitt Romney’s stances is to promote choice for students in bad schools by allowing eligible students to choose from any district or public charter school or private school or use federal funds towards a tutoring program or online courses. He wants to extend the federal Charter School Program so that it can serve more students. In other words, Romney prefers to privatize more aspects of the American education system and to have more funds towards online education, charter schools, and school vouchers. With regards to vouchers, Obama’s response has been “no” because, according to him, it takes away resources for other kids in need. Concerning higher education, Obama has planned to use public instead of private-owned loan providers to aid students pursuing a college education. The Obama administration has put billions of dollars towards Pell grants and other grant programs. Additionally, Obama wants to improve science and math education. Romney has positive goals for education as well, but with other methods. He prefers to further incorporate the private sector’s role in financing and providing the education itself. He also wants to strengthen and simplify the financial aid system by combining overly complex programs. He wants to give students and families more accessible information regarding loans and the options available for financing higher education. These plans sound positive and both parties want to better the education of young people. But what about schools that are already in bad conditions and in which students, including Latino students, continue to go to? In other words, what about the now and not the later on when thousands of kids would probably already have left school? Latino students still face problems, such as dropping out of high school or having low rates of obtaining college degrees. Teachers in the education system matter as well. There is a difference between a teacher who teaches only because there was nothing else for him or her to do and a teacher who is actually interested in the student’s success and grasp of the material. Both Obama and Romney constantly bring up the issue paying teachers based on student performance. And, of course, there is the hotly debated Deferred Action plan, which leaves many questions unanswered. The plan provides work permits and suspends deportations to those eligible for it, but provides no path to permanent residency or citizenship. Furthermore, the plan does not answer whether these students will be eligible for federal student aid programs or state aid programs. It is important for Latinos to be aware of how each political party views education. After all, it is our future that will be affected.
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