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Mike Johanns Outlines A 21st Century Education Plan


Location: Lincoln, NE

Today, Mike Johanns, candidate for U.S. Senate, outlined his plan to strengthen the educational opportunities for Nebraskans across the state. Mike Johanns stressed the importance of providing every Nebraskan with access to top-quality educational opportunities at the primary and secondary levels.

"In order to ensure prosperity for the next generation of Nebraskans and prepare them to compete in the 21st Century economy, we must have top-quality educational opportunities available to Nebraska's students. They deserve this opportunity regardless of where they live, their income or their special needs and I will fight to make education affordable and accessible for all students.

"The best way to provide a first-rate education for our children is to keep education decision making at the local level. By providing adequate funding from the federal, state and local level without burdensome federal mandates, we will best prepare our children for their future as a part of the world economy."

Mike Johanns On His Plan For A 21st Century Education:

No Child Left Behind:

"While I believe we must have standards in education, I did not support 'No Child Left Behind' as Governor and I do not support it now. The federal government should be a partner with states and local schools, they should not force mandates on local school boards who better know the needs of their communities."

Special Education Funding:

"The federal government should honor the commitment they made in the 1970s to states by funding special education programs at the full 40% level they promised. This is funding is critical to our ability to best prepare all of our children for their future opportunities in the workforce."

Making Education Affordable:

"We must also make higher education more affordable for lower and middle class students and families. It is critical they have access to affordable student loans without a government takeover of student lending and I will also fight for increased funding for Pell Grants."

Educational Opportunities For Research, Job Training and Economic Development:

"Nebraska colleges and universities can and should be leaders in research and economic development opportunities and I will fight for funding for these important projects. I will also support our community colleges, who also play a critical role in the education and training of our students and preparing them to compete in the world economy. Job training provided by our colleges and universities will prepare our workforce to compete in the modern economy and keep more of our educated workforce right here in Nebraska where they will play a critical role in growing our state's economy."

As Governor, Mike Johanns provided a critical funding safety net for schools to prevent budget swings from hurting the education of Nebraska children and also signed legislation to raise the standard and funding for early-childhood programs. He worked to make higher education more affordable by signing a College Savings Plan into law, providing families with the opportunity to save tax free for their children's tuition. Additionally, in his first month in office, Mike Johanns created a 21-member Teachers Advisory Cabinet where he could hear directly to educators on the problems facing the education community and how to best solve them to provide Nebraska children with a top-quality education.

Read more about Mike Johanns' plan to work across the aisle to improve educational opportunities without federal government mandates in "Here's Where I Stand: A Plan For Our Future." To see the document in its entirety, please visit our website at

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