by Brian Washington
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President Trump has released his budget and, in the process, has confirmed educators’ fears about how bad the spending blueprint is for students, public schools, and working families.
The document, which officially came out yesterday, pretty much lines up with the gruesome details about the plan leaked to the press last week.
You can check out the plan in its entirety, but if you’re short on time, here’s a quick rundown of what’s in the Trump-DeVos budget:
- Cuts the federal investment in education programs in FY2018 by 13.6 percent;
- Cuts $10.6 billion in federal education initiatives overall;
- Eliminates 22 education programs;
- Cuts $1.2 billion from after-school programs;
- Cuts $27 million from arts education;
- Cuts IDEA (special education funding) by $133 million;
- Cuts $2.1 billion from funding to reduce class sizes (which is key for providing the one-on-one attention students need to succeed) and support professional development for educators; and
- More than $700 million in cuts to college loans for low-income students.
And as if that wasn’t bad enough, Trump and his education secretary, Betsy DeVos, who has proven time and time again she is unqualified to hold the post, want to take more scarce resources away from our public schools—where 90 percent of the nation’s children are enrolled—and funnel them into private and/or religious schools that are unaccountable to the public. We’re talking more than $1 billion. Yesterday, DeVos appeared on Capitol Hill to defend the Trump-DeVos budget.
— Lily Eskelsen García (@Lily_NEA) May 25, 2017
Meanwhile, education activists took to social media to warn anyone they could about how detrimental the Trump-DeVos plan is to students and public education.
“The cuts are truly devastating and in the long run will hurt so many, and those who voted for Trump will feel the pain sooner than later.” –Diana Vander Heide.
“It’s obvious that neither Trump nor DeVos know anything about education nor do they care about the vast majority of America’s children.” –Anna Mountain.
“Not sure how they (Trump and DeVos) think this is good for the country,” –Bob Feurer.
“Trump and DeVos don’t have a clue about public education.” –Jerry Brief.
“Arts education—as many of you know—these are the programs that keep kids in school, lower discipline incidents, and provide social/emotional development for kids of all ages. More cuts will only increase the numbers in truancy, drop outs, suspensions, discipline referrals, etc.” –Jennifer Cole
“In the school where I taught, I was seeing great things happening in educating our students, best practices, research-based strategies, and kids eager to learn, embracing technology, higher level thinking, and program-solving life skills. In comes a clueless President and an even more clueless Secretary of Education, just whacking away at what has been working with little to no knowledge about the system in the first place.” –Sally Dillon
However, Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association, which represents 3 million educators nationwide, points out that the impact of this budget extends beyond public education. It also targets Medicaid, Meals on Wheels, and those services aimed at providing a safety net for working families.
“These budget cuts will hurt every working family in America. And that’s why we have to call on Congress to reject the Trump budget,” said Garcia. “At the end of the day, the students and families most in need will pay the price because of the draconian cuts the Trump administration is proposing.”