By now you know that Mitt Romney has selected Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his vice presidential pick.
That’s the same Paul Ryan who has proposed a budget that would end Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher system costing seniors thousands in out-of-pocket expenses, while at the same time awarding huge tax cuts to billionaires.
“Like Mitt Romney, Ryan’s severely conservative positions are out of touch with most Americans’ values,” the Obama campaign said. “He would take us backward on women’s health and equal rights.”
Unsurprisingly, Ryan’s vision and his unflagging commitment to catering to the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans at the expense of the remaining 98 percent also extends to education and children’s rights.
Here are eight of Ryan’s approaches to education:
* Early Childhood Education: As chair of the House Budget Committee, Ryan was the architect of a budget proposing to cut $1.1 billion from early childhood education, which would deny more than 2 million poor children the opportunity for high-quality early education.
* K-12 Education: During his 13 years in Congress, Ryan has repeatedly supported cuts to education funding, including blocking support intended to help avoid educator layoffs and prevent ballooning class sizes. In fact, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said the budget could have “disastrous consequences for America’s children.”
* Title 1 And Special Education: Back in March, Duncan told the House Appropriations panel that oversees education spending that the Ryan budget could cut Title I grants to districts, which right now total $14.5 billion, by as much as $2.7 billion, while special education could be cut by as much as $2.2 billion. Special education state grants are currently funded at $11.6 billion.
* Pell Grants: Ryan has voted repeatedly against increasing Pell Grants, which provide need-based grants to low-income undergraduate and certain post-baccalaureate students to promote access to post-secondary education.
* School Vouchers: The Wisconsin representative has also cast votes during his seven terms in the House that show, among other things, support for school vouchers. His running mate, Mitt Romney, has called for a more expansive policy of school vouchers, which give public money to families to attend private and religious schools.
* For-profit Colleges: Ryan has often shown his support for for-profit colleges, and earlier this year he voted for a measure that sought to stop the Education Department from implementing regulations intended to stop deceptive marketing by for-profit colleges, the focus of a 2010 Government Accountability Office investigation.
* Teachers: Paul Ryan voted against the conference report of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which included billions of dollars to help prevent widespread teacher layoffs and included $1 billion to support the early childhood program Head Start.
* Class Size: Along with Governor Romney, Ryan apparently believes that class size does not matter.
By selecting Ryan, Romney has found a natural ally in his plan to destroy the foundations of American education and turn our children’s schooling over to the private sector. Or, as Romney himself put it, “Opportunity in America means people get as much education as they can afford.”
What do you think?
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