Obama, Romney spar over education

Updated: 2012-08-26 14:19


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Under Romney, Pell cuts likely

Romney's selection of Ryan as his running mate has added a wrinkle to the debate over education policy.

The sweeping budget plan that Ryan has laid out - and that Romney has endorsed in principle - would make deep cuts in discretionary domestic spending, including education.

Ryan has not spelled out exactly how his budget axe would fall, but he has said he would cut the number of students eligible for Pell Grants, which help pay college tuition.

In a new ad, Obama accuses the Republican ticket of planning to cut college aid for millions. Another ad, produced by the Democratic National Committee, ridicules Romney for telling young voters that his best advice on affording college is to "shop around" for a good deal and borrow from their parents if necessary.

Romney and Ryan say that the easy availability of federal grants and loans drives up the cost of college for everyone - and has turned into a de facto entitlement. "America needs a new normal," Romney declares in his education policy paper.

Political pundits say they expect education policy disputes to pop up before the Nov. 6 election because the topic encapsulates the candidates' divergent views on the role of government.

As Fredrick Hess, a political scientist at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, put it: "Education may well end up being used as Exhibit A."


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