I have conversed with many students who are now eligible to vote in an election. Individuals have expressed a range of feelings about the election including that they will not vote, being undecided who they will support, to their eagerness to participate in voting. For example, two weeks ago, one of my students shared her experience completing her absentee ballot for the upcoming 2016 election. I asked her how it felt to vote, and she shared, “I am happy that I get to vote for the next president.” During our conversation, she focused on the presidential election, but did not mention what is going on in her state or community. I understand the significance of selecting the new commander and chief of the United States of America, but I also think it is important to pay close attention to individuals who are campaigning for local and state positions.
I have asked myself a few questions, including, how will the decision I make at the polls impact the future of K-12 and higher education. As an educator, I understand how political decisions impact educational policies and resources. For example, the Pell Grant,which is legislated by Congress, provides funding for students who meet certain criteria. The maximum award from the Pell Grant has fluctuated over the years due to budget changes.
There are many factors to consider in this upcoming election in addition to the presidential nominees. Votes will also have to consider local and state propositions and/or referenda. Some state websites have sample ballots for view prior to heading to the polls. I encourage everyone to vote and make informed decisions.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2016.