2016 Election: A focus on education

Ian Johnson

Owen Egger, Special events editor

Bishop Amat seniors will be voting for the next president of the United States just months after they leave high school this year.

As these students will soon begin their college careers, then, it makes sense that education reform is an important issue in the presidential race here on campus.

The 2016 Democratic candidates–former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders–have spoken this election cycle about the burden student loan debt places on students after college.

Sanders’s plan for higher education is the elimination of tuition at any public college or university. While appealing to voters like the seniors at Amat, this plan has raised eyebrows about its economics.

“I do think it’s a good idea,” said senior Noah Sanchez, a current AP Government student. “I’m just a little bit more worried about how he’s going to afford it; college is expensive.” Sanchez’s comment briefly summarized disagreement with Sanders’s liberal education plan.

Clinton proposes a more moderate policy of “no student should have to borrow money to pay for college.” But she still has critics on the right.

“I disagree with Hillary Clinton because I believe students should be pulling their weight in regards to tuition,” said senior Emily Hou. “It would make them value their education more.”

Though the left is focused on budgeting, both frontrunner Republican candidates—businessman Donald J Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz—have proposed ideas that can be viewed as too privatized.

“I think Ted Cruz’s idea to cut the Department of Education would be horrible,” said senior Xaina Vega. “The US is based on education and we’re known for our great education. It’s essential to the survival of the US.”

Cruz’s issues are similar to Trump’s: critics accuse both of having plans too privatized—and in a post-2011 world, too-pro-1%–to work.

“The government shouldn’t be making profits [on college loans], but education is for the students,” said senior Mario Jaramillo. “Students shouldn’t have to worry about paying it back and everything.”

Amat seniors have a tough decision: whether to go for a focus on free education or one on a budgeted, stable system.