Although he has a long history in governance, Biden’s positions on testing and vouchers are difficult to discern. He has been outspoken in his support of smaller class sizes and pre-school. During one of his first rallies Biden said that we must “end the Trump DeVos education agenda.” In May 2019 he unveiled a K-12 education plan prior to a forum in Houston, TX with AFT.
Direct Campaign Contributions
Citizens for Biden did not receive contributions from prominent education reform donors in his last Senate campaign in 2008.
In 2008 no PACs made independent expenditures on behalf of Joe Biden.
At the AFT forum in Houston Biden responded to a question about for-profit charters by saying “I do not support federal money for for-profit charter schools, period. Bottom line is charters siphon off money from public schools, which are already in enough trouble.”
Biden voted for No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
Biden also voted for a bill that would fund state testing rather than fund tutors.
Biden said he regretted his vote for NCLB, stating “I would scrap it — or I guess, theoretically, you could do a major overhaul. But I think I’d start from the beginning. You need better teachers. You need smaller classrooms. You need to start kids earlier. It’s all basic.”
Bruce Reed served as Biden’s Chief of Staff for almost three years. Reed had previously served as chief domestic policy advisor to former president Bill Clinton where he oversaw education policy and advocated charter schools.
Reed left his position with Biden to become the first president of the pro-charter Broad Foundation where he oversaw all of the foundation’s investments to “improve America’s public schools.”
Biden’s wife Jill was a public high school teacher and later a community college professor. The Biden’s created the Biden Foundation (which they suspended when he announced his presidential campaign). One of the pillars of the foundation was “Advancing Community Colleges.”
A review of the Biden Foundation’s funders revealed no contributions from education reform foundations or donors. We found no evidence of the Foundation giving to charter schools, voucher programs or corporate education reform groups.
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