Are we better off than four years ago? Part 6

Yes — President Obama has made real investments to improve access to quality education and support minority and other small business owners.

Many politicians talk about the importance of education but few actually make funding education a real priority.  The Obama Administration pushed Congress to dramatically increase investment in Head Start and K-12 funding while pushing schools to improve their performance.  He also doubled the amount of funding for Pell grants so more families could afford to send their kids to college and has been working to improve the student loan system. 

While President Bush did work with Congress to pass No Child Left Behind, there was little hope of it working successfully without sufficient funding.  President Bush did not ensure sufficient funding to support struggling public schools trying to meet the goals of reform.  And candidate Mitt Romney’s budget plans would necessitate cuts not investments in both education and support for small business owners.

The Obama administration also sought to overhaul public school education by using the stimulus funding and other measures to provide incentive to states to promote charter schools, use student test scores to evaluate teachers and push for more consistent standards aimed at raising achievement in K-12 public schools.

In contrast to Mitt Romney, President Obama has made several concrete proposals to reform the student loan system and address the mounting levels of student debt that is putting college and graduate education out of reach and limiting the ability of young adults to seek lower paying jobs like teaching and public service.  He has already taken measures to reduce the amount of student loan payments.

In addition to cutting taxes for small business owners and helping them to have access to affordable health insurance, the Obama administration has increased outreach, technical assistance and loans to Asian American owned businesses.  The administration is also is working to expand access to government contracting opportunities and has reached out to Hmong and other Southeast Asian farmers to help them better access loans and other agricultural programs.