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What the 2020 Presidential Candidates Are Doing About STEM Education and Diversity: Part 2

Written by: Max Evans

2020 Presidential Candidate Series

DISCLAIMER: This article does not represent the political views of either the writer or Reinvented Magazine, which does not endorse any specific political candidate, party or organization.

This is the second in a series of articles reviewing the different 2020 presidential candidates’ positions, policies and public statements related to STEM education, diversity and inclusion. The candidates are being reviewed in alphabetical order and will cover both Republican and Democratic candidates throughout the series.

The article will act as a summary to provide insight to the candidate's position and approach to these issues.

Steve Bullock

Steve Bullock is the current acting Democratic Governor of the state of Montana, and former State Attorney General. As governor, Bullock partnered with the St. Patrick Hospital to invest $50,000 into the Big Sky High School. These investments helped fund certifications for the schools Health Science Academy that would allow students to receive certifications to be medical technicians, nursing assistants, and more. Governor Bullock also recognized West Paw Design’s apprenticeship program for injection molding in 2018 after the company attended his Innovate Montana Symposium.

As governor, Bullock partnered with the Montana Legislature to invest 6 million dollars into access for pre-school education. Additionally, the governor froze tuition at Montana colleges, put in place a summer food service program, and pushed for advancements in broadband technologies for schools to give students more access to digital learning tools.

Bullock put together the Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force to help shrink the pay gap in Montana. As chair of the Educational Commission of the States, Bullock pushed for the improvement of dual enrollment programs.

Like other candidates, Bullock is approaching the task of increasing diversity in education by making education more affordable. The New York Times lists early childhood education and reducing economic inequality as major campaign issues for Steve Bullock, but his campaign website does not mention any specific plans for the presidency.

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg is the Mayor of South Bend, Indiana. He is currently campaigning for affordable tuition and debt free college. To achieve these goals, he advocates for a plan that includes an increase in Pell grants to keep up with inflation and support for History Black Colleges and Minority-Serving Institutions. Buttigieg, unlike some candidates in the field, does not advocate for free college for all.

With regards to Diversity and Inclusion, Buttigieg came up with the support for the Equality Act, which would create a federal amendment to extend non-discrimination protections to LGBTQ citizens. Pete Buttigieg may be against standardized testing, which studies have shown that colleges that do not use the SAT or ACT as a metric for admissions can promote an increase of diversity in their schools. As Buttigieg put forward construction projects in the town, he supported a program at South Bend Code School to teach business and coding skills.

Julian Castro

Julian Castro is the former US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under the Obama Administration. Castro was also Mayor of San Antonio in Texas and stood on the City Council. For his 2020 campaign, Castro has a policy plan for accessible pre-k education and free tuition for secondary education. Castro is also a noted supporter of affirmative action.

Under Castro, the HUD invested 2.5 million dollars to fund college for students living in public housing. The HUD also partnered with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading to promote literacy in young children in public housing. The goal of the program was to achieve reading proficiency by the end of third grade.

As Mayor of San Antonio, Castro implemented a program that installed accessible pre-k education to 4 year olds by raising the sales tax.

For more information, the writer suggests the following websites: Vote Smart, Gov Track, and the NY Times Summary of political candidates.

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