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ESSA. Congress. State chiefs. School spending. Elections. Education Week reporters keep watch on education policy and politics in the nation’s capital and in the states.

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New Pro-Obama PAC Ad Slams Romney on Education Funding

By Alyson Klein — October 08, 2012 1 min read

A Romney administration would mean cuts to early-childhood education, K-12, and higher ed., at least according to a new ad running in swing states by Priorities USA, a pro-Obama political action committee that’s running in six swing states.

Check out the ad here:

So is it true? That’s tough to say. Mitt Romney’s running mate, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, has put forth a budget that would include a 20 percent cut to domestic discretionary spending (the big, broad category that includes education, but also lots of other programs, like energy, public safety, some health, labor, etc.) Would Romney embrace that budget? And if so, just how much would education get hit? We really don’t know, in part because Romney hasn’t been specific about just which programs he would trim or eliminate.

Adding to the confusion: In last week’s debate, Romney said he would not cut education funding. But his campaign hasn’t elaborated on what exactly that means. No cuts to any program that touches on education, including Head Start? No cuts to the U.S. Department of Education? Or just no cuts to Title I and special education? It’s anyone’s guess.

Still, the ad—and Romney’s debate comment—serve as a reminder of just how politically tricky it can be to cut money for schools. Which should make some education advocates eyeing the coming fiscal cliff very happy.

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