Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Claire McCaskill has unveiled an education plan that calls for increased federal funding for public schools. In making her announcement, McCaskill pointed to what she considers the failures of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. She says the Act has greatly expanded the role of the federal government in education by forcing Missouri and other states to go along with mandates from Washington, substituting local control with a one-size-fits-all system for measuring a school’s success, and underfunding public schools. McCaskill is vowing to return local control to state and local authorities and to fund public schools that have met achievement goals. She adds the No Child Left Behind Act has widened the gap between good and bad schools by punishing schools that cannot meet the Act’s standards. A second part of McCaskill’s education plan would make higher education more affordable through such measures as increasing the maximum Pell Grant to $5,800 and doubling the HOPE Scholarship tax credit from $1,500 to $3,000 per student.
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