Though it was not considered an election year issue earlier, an
education policy analyst points out that Paul Ryan's proposed cuts
to education spending could be in the spotlight now that he is a
candidate for vice president.
Democrats claim that Ryan's proposals to change the eligibility
rules for Pell Grants and cut billions from Title I would be
devastating. But Neal McCluskey of the Cato Institute
believes the cuts are a move in the right direction.
"That's hard to do, and the Obama administration has
shown why it's hard to do: because as soon as you say you should
cut something, you are portrayed as being against education, or
against poor people, or any number of horrible things," McCluskey
explains. "It simply isn't true, but that's easy to smear you with,
because people always tend to think well, spending money on
something means you care about people and you care about that
Given that President Obama has spent an unprecedented amount on
education, the analyst asserts that money alone does not produce
better academic outcomes.
"You can look at especially the National Assessment of
Educational Progress scores, because those are one of the few
things we have consistent, long-term scores for," he notes. "And
you see they barely move while federal spending on education,
overall education spending has skyrocketed. The spending doesn't
result in better educational outcomes."
House Republicans passed Ryan's proposed plan last year with no