What You Should Know: Debate Edition

Welcome back to What You Should Know, a regular roundup of the most interesting and noteworthy news of the last 24 hours. If it matters to students, you’ll find it here.

Education played a big role in last night’s gubernatorial debate.

Last night’s debate between Gov. Rick Snyder and Democratic challenger Mark Schauer hit on everything from taxes to roads to Detroit’s bankruptcy. But much of the debate at Wayne State University was spent going back and forth on education.

snyder
Rick Snyder

Education funding has been a major focus of the campaign. Both candidates have spent money on numerous ads featuring teachers either praising or denouncing Snyder for his funding strategy. It’s no surprise, then, that much of the debate was spent on the issue.

If you tuned in, you likely heard nothing new from either candidate. But it’s worth noting that Schauer again hit Snyder for cutting higher education funding by 15 percent in his first year, while Snyder again promised to get higher education funding above what it was when he took office in his second term.

Snyder stressed the need to invest in vocational training, while Schauer promised to put the cap Snyder lifted on the number of charter schools back on.

For more on the debate, visit Crain’s Detroit Business.

Neither candidate is being totally honest on K-12 funding.

Mark Schauer
Mark Schauer

As has been the case all election season, higher education, vocational training and charter school issues took a backseat to K-12 funding, a major focal point of the campaign. Again, Schauer claimed that Snyder has cut $1 billion in funding for K-12 schools, a claim Snyder calls hogwash.

It turns out neither candidate is telling the whole truth. More from the Detroit Free Press:

State funding for K-12 schools has increased by $723 million under Snyder, from $10.7 billion in fiscal year 2011 — the last budget of former Gov. Jennifer Granholm — to $11.4 billion in fiscal year 2014.

Despite that, most school districts have less money for the classroom today than when Granholm left office because federal stimulus funds dried up, the state’s per-pupil foundation grant has been cut, enrollment has dropped for many districts, and the $505 million extra that the state has pumped into school districts to help them pay their retirement costs still fell short of the spiraling retirement bills the districts had to pay.

For more of the Freep’s fact checks from the debate, click here.

Lawmakers are attempting to revamp the Higher Education Act. That probably won’t help much.

It might have been hard to imagine in 1965 when the Higher Education Act was signed by President Lyndon Johnson that student loan debt was surge past $1 trillion nearly 50 years later. But that’s exactly what’s happened.

In response, federal lawmakers, led by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, have introduced several amendments to the law that expand opportunities for high school students to gain college credit and to increase funding for community colleges and state funding for public colleges and universities.

Some higher education experts are skeptical the measures will do much if passed. To find out why, head over to USA Today College.

Democrats spend ad money on late night TV and daytime shows. Republicans spend cash on news programs and Drew Carey.

Bloomberg Politics has an interesting graphic detailing which network television shows have aired more predominantly Democratic or Republican ads during commercial breaks. Political ads on daytime talk shows, court shows and late night TV tend to lean Democratic, while news programming took nine of the GOP’s top 10 spots. No. 10 went to The Price is Right. Click here for more.

Dan Enos might have had the biggest win of his coaching tenure on Saturday.

Dan Enos
Dan Enos

CMU football’s Dan Enos has had his fair share of critics during his five-year tenure as CMU head coach. “Fire Enos” chants were not uncommon over the last four years, and it was easy to see why. The Chippewas had just one winning season in Enos’ first four years, and for every big-time win over a school like Iowa, there seemed to be one or two inexcusable losses in conference play.

CMU’s 34-17 shocker win over MAC powerhouse Northern Illinois could change that, though. The stunning win might go down as Enos’ most important win so far, as The Morning Sun‘s Nate Schneider writes. On paper, CMU had no business winning the game over NIU, which had won 24 straight regular-season MAC games and 28 straight at home.

But it appears as if the team, led by running back Thomas Rawls, has come into its own at the right time, and the wins means Enos’ efforts in building a competitive team might finally pay off this year. Read Schneider’s piece at The Morning Sun.


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