Donald Trump’s education budget is a declaration of war on public education and our nation’s neediest children. It was surely designed by Betsy DeVos.
Trump’s budget would axe after-school programs known as the 21st Century Community Learning Centers which help school districts, churches and nonprofit groups serve more than 1.6 million American children, most of whom are poor. In defending the cuts to such programs, White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said after-school programs don’t “show results.” He went on to say that feeding children after-school has never been proven to get them better jobs, so we cannot afford to do it anymore. A full stomach for a hungry child is not good enough–but there is 1.4 billion to send them to voucher schools and for for-profit online learning.
The budget also slashes programs that prepare disadvantaged middle and high school students for college. College assistance for first-generation students is also reduced. And if disadvantaged students are still able to get to college, it will be harder for them to stay–Trump’s budget cuts funding for federal work study programs.
And yet there is ample funding for the school privatization agenda–$1.4 billion in all.
Trump’s budget contains:
· a 50% increase for charter school funding.
· a $250 million private school “choice” program.
· $1 billion for a fund portability program–which is nothing more than a disguised voucher system. Portability could bankrupt some public schools and slash funding for the rest.
The Network for Public Education will not stand by and allow Trump to break our public school system and crush the dreams of millions of children. We believe in the promise and hope of an equitable education for every children. A shot-gun system of segregated private schools, charters, virtual and home-schools is a recipe for disaster.
But we cannot fight without your help.
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Thank you for all you do,
Carol Burris, Executive Director