Why I want Barack Obama to be my child's president
An Obama campaign staffer - and mom - explains why she believes Obama's vision of the future is best for her child and all children.
By Kate Chapek
[Editors' note: Education hasn't received much attention this campaign season, so we went straight to the source to find out what parents on the Obama and Romney campaigns believe makes their candidate the man you should vote for. Here's a letter from an Obama campaign staffer. To read the letter from a Romney campaign staffer, click here.]
My job on President Obama’s campaign is to make sure women vote and make their voices heard. I spend each day sharing with voters all of the reasons why I think he should be re-elected as our President. But it’s my perspective as a mom to my 2-year-old daughter, Sinatra, that hits home just how important this election is for all of our children’s futures.
The President knows that the future starts in the classroom. Education was a gateway to opportunity for the President and the First Lady, both of whom came from humble middle-class families. The President grew up with a single, working mom who valued education so much that she would wake him up at 4:30 in the morning to help him study. When he complained, she would tell him, "This is no picnic for me either, buster.” But she did it because she knew her sacrifice would help her son get the education necessary to reach his potential.
Investing in education
I know how his mother felt, and I know most of you do, too. My daughter, Sinatra, is years away from starting school, but when I think about her education, I want her to have all of the advantages that come with an early start to learning. The President wants that for all of our kids. When he came into office during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, he expanded early education investments to reach an additional 64,000 children in Head Start and Early Head Start programs. He made sure states could keep thousands of teachers in our schools and spurred nearly every state in the nation to raise their school standards to make sure our kids are prepared for college and the workforce.
But it’s not just his investments in K-12 education that are making a difference. Even though my daughter is barely out of diapers, paying for college is already on my mind. The President knows what that feels like — he and the First Lady only finished paying off their own student loans a few years ago.
That’s why he’s doing everything he can to make higher education more affordable. He removed banks as the middlemen in the student loan industry to invest directly in students instead. This step alone enables us to double investments in Pell Grant scholarships to help millions of students go to college — and made it easier for many of them to repay their loans. President Obama also expanded the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which saves families up to $10,000 over four years of college tuition, and has helped more than 9 million students and their families afford a higher education in 2011 alone.
An imperative for all, not a luxury for few
The President has a concrete and specific second-term plan to continue investing in education to restore the economic security of the middle class. We’ll recruit and prepare 100,000 math and science teachers so our high school graduates are prepared to compete for the jobs of the future. We’ll give 2 million Americans at our community colleges the job skills they need, cut the growth of college tuition in half over the next decade, and expand student aid so more students can afford college. You can learn more about President Obama's education plan by checking out barackobama.com/plans.
Of course, there’s more work to do. But President Obama is the only candidate who knows education must be an imperative for all — not just a luxury for the few. He knows we simply can’t go back to the same failed policies of the past, like tax cuts for the very wealthy paid for by gutting investments in education — cuts that in turn result in fewer teachers, crowded classrooms, and higher college costs.
The reason I support President Obama is that when I walk into the voting booth, I know I’m voting for someone I trust. I know each day he’s fighting for the future — for his two daughters, for Sinatra, and for all of our children.
Find out more about Obama's education policy here.
You can read the letter from a Romney campaign staffer here.