2016 Republican and Democratic Party Platforms

2016 Republican and Democratic Party Platforms

Although political party conventions are well known as staple events for confirming each party’s Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees, it is important to note that these conventions also mark the release of each party’s platform for the election year. As the primary season closes and we move towards the general election, it is critical to highlight both party’s platforms and note what each Presidential and Congressional candidate are representing for when you go to the polls in November.

Click the pictures below to access the respective party’s platforms:

party platform
iStock / MicroStockHub / Thinkstock

2016 Democratic Party Platform


iStock / MicroStockHub / Thinkstock

2016 Republican Party Platform


Education Highlights – Republican Party Platform

Republicans have highlighted five key points in education policy for their 2016 platform:

  1. Academic Excellence for All
  2. Choice in Education
  3. Title IX
  4. College Costs
  5. Improving Higher Education

Attributing to the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act, it is no surprise to see both parties focus their platforms in higher education. The platform calls for the development of new educational systems to “compete with traditional four-year institutions,” such as career and technical schools, work-based learning programs, and online universities. In addition, Republicans have devoted a section in their platform addressing Title IX and sexual assault on academic campuses, recommending these cases should be resolved by only law enforcement rather than university officials. Finally, in addressing college tuition costs, Republicans called for ending the federal direct student loan program, noting “private sector participation in student financing should be restored.”

The Republicans’ full platform on education issues can be found on page 31.

Education Highlights – Democratic Party Platform

Democrats in 2016 have highlighted five key points to their education policy:

  1. Making Debt-Free College a Reality
  2. Providing Relief from Crushing Student Debt
  3. Supporting Historically Black colleges and Universites & Minority Serving Institutions
  4. Cracking Down on Predatory For-Profit Schools
  5. Guaranteeing Universal Preschool and Good Schools for Every Child

In the fifth point addressing “Good Schools for Every Child,” Democrats promote their commitment towards closing the gap for students of low-income and disadvantaged communities, and address the need for investments in after-school, summer learning, and high-quality STEAM programs. Additionally, Democrats address standardize testing and state the practice must inform and “not drive, instruction.”

The Democratic Party also devote a section of their platform to the promotion of “Arts and Culture”:

Democrats are proud of our support for arts funding and education. We are committed to continuing the policies and programs that have already done so much for our creative arts industry and economy. Investment in the arts strengthens our communities and contributes to our nation’s rich cultural heritage. We will continue to support public funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, for the National Endowment for the Humanities, and for programs providing art and music education in primary and secondary schools. The entire nation prospers when we protect and promote the unique artistic and cultural contributions of the women and men who create and preserve our nation’s heritage.

The Democrats’ full platform on education issues can be found on page 30 and the “Arts and Culture” section can be found on page 21.

For other news and resources on 2016 Presidential Election, be sure to visit our NAfME Election Central page.

Ronny Lau, Policy Advisor, Center for Advocacy, Policy, and Constituency Engagement, August 8, 2016. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org)