Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton announced during a campaign stop in Iowa that she would shut down nearly 50,000 public schools if elected president. Her comments at the event were broadcast by NBC.
“This school district, and these schools throughout Iowa, are doing a better than average job,” Hillary Clinton said during a campaign event at a school in Keota, Iowa, on Tuesday. “Now, I wouldn’t keep any school open that wasn’t doing a better than average job.”
“If a school’s not doing a good job, then, you know, that may not be good for the kids,” she continued. Clinton did not elaborate on how a school doing a poor job could possibly be good for the kids.
According to U.S. Department of Education statistics, there were just over 98,000 public schools in the U.S. as of the 2011-2012 school year, the most recent year for which complete data are available. Under Hillary Clinton’s proposed education plan to shutter all average and below average schools, that would mean that nearly 50,000 schools would have to be shut down, assuming that the median and average national school performance were roughly equal.
Nearly two-thirds of those schools targeted by Clinton’s proposal–over 30,000–would be elementary schools.
Iowa has more than 500,000 students enrolled in public K-12 schools in the state, according to estimates by the National Education Association (NEA), a national teachers’ union. The NEA estimates that 35,000 teachers are employed by the Iowa public school system.
During her remarks, Clinton did not state which specific performance metrics she would use to determine whether a school was performing adequately, nor did she say where children who had been attending average or below-average schools shut down by her administration could go for their educational needs.