House funding bill rips opportunity from students in support of Trump-DeVos agenda

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By Amanda Litvinov / photo by Ron Cogswell

The FY 2018 education funding bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee recently is a frightening read in its disregard for the welfare of the millions of students who attend public schools, and the educators who teach in them.

The House spending bill:

  • Cuts education spending by $2.4 billion.
  • Completely eliminates Title II (within ESSA), which funds class-size reduction, professional development, and more.
  • Slashes 21st Century Community Learning Centers that provide afterschool services to students most in need.
  • Fails to increase funding for Title I, despite record numbers of low-income students in need of the services it provides.

Although the House bill cuts far less from education than the Trump-DeVos budget proposal, it would still devastate several education programs. Without a doubt, those cuts will degrade efforts to reach the full potential within the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and assist students most in need.

Utah teacher and NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia called the House spending bill “terrible for students and neighborhood public schools across the country.”

“If enacted, it will deprive millions of students of opportunities by eliminating funding that will result in nearly 8,500 educators losing their jobs, slashing funding for class-size reduction programs, cutting funding for after-school programs that serve the students most in need, and limiting or eliminating professional development opportunities for nearly 2.5 million educators,” Garcia said.

“As a result, parents can expect larger class sizes and students can expect to see fewer opportunities to connect one-on-one with qualified, caring teachers.”

Cutting off all funding for Title II, Part A would occur during ESSA’s second year of implementation. In effect, the House cuts would shift the costs of professional development, class size reduction, educator recruitment and retention, mentoring, induction, and other educator supports to states and local education agencies.

Click here to see a table that illustrates the loss of federal dollars and jobs by state.

Congress tied its own hands with senseless and untenable budget caps that have resulted in wholly inadequate funding for critical programs like education. Yet the spending bill passed by the House actually violates the Budget Control Act in order to increase defense spending to $640 billion, far exceeding the President’s request.

The budget debate is expected to heat up after the August recess. The next fiscal year begins on October 1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reader Comments

  1. YES, our public schools are in dier need of help but pouring more money into them is not the answer as the more we give the more they want. Private schools and religion based schools run very well on 1/4 of what public schools run on an they give out thousands in tuition grants. The biggest difference is parents are held accountable for their child’s behavior unlike public schools where parents know they don’t have to act on their misbehaving child’s actions for those 6.5 hours. Learning for all students happen in a classroom where students know they are responsible for their choices good or bad. Parents take responsibility for their children, in return teachers can teach.

  2. DeVos wouldn’t know good education if she ever saw it. She and her whole family attended church and private schools. She doesn’t care about public schools! Trump never attended public schools and cares even less about our kids than DeVos does.

  3. Corrupt entities including BD are chomping at the bit to privatize education. This is profit driven greed that has major lobbying behind it. They want to subsidize their profit margins and at the expense of taxpayers and ultimately students of all ages and abilities.

  4. As a retired French and Spanish teacher as well as parent of three and grandparent of three whose entire family has attended and supported public schools for five generations, I am appalled at the cuts to Title I and Title II. I request that the Federal Government should support public school children, their teachers and their patents by providing the optimum conditions.

  5. Education is the Human Infrastructure of our society. When our Congress fails to properly fund the needs of our public education system, It fails to make the most important investment which yields great dividends in human achievement. Many members Our Congress have much to be ashamed of when their misguided values result in cheating children of opportunities that enrich their lives and the intellectual health of the society.
    The Public School System is one of the great innovations of our culture. Once again the current Administration selects leaders who ,through design or ignorance, tear down the foundations on which our country was founded and flourished.

  6. Betsy Devos wants to kill public education and save charter schools like the ones she has started on the west side of Michigan. Those schools rob money allocated for upgrades that the public school system need, and rob lower income students of the only chance they have at an education. Her schools can not pass any of the standards that public schools do, so she wants to eliminate them. All in the name of money for her rich friends that make money off the private and charter schools she runs. The online courses they push only alienate the children more and they do not learn to deal with all people out in the real world. AND, you do not know who is doing the work and turning in the tests online either. Many parents will do the work for them and the children do not learn anything.

  7. FOR GOD’S SAKE—–SUPPORT/FUND/PROTECT “PUBLIC SCHOOLS”——THAT’S WHAT YOUR TITLE READS—-‘NOT PROTECTOR OF PRIVATE SCHOOLS”—YOU STUPID, ELITIST!!

  8. The public education system may have faults, but shouldn’t you be working to make it better instead of worse!!
    Do The Right Thing For All Children!

  9. Charter schools were originally created to help better how public schools work. They are not doing that, but instead just taking funding and saying they are better. If their methods work, they should be incorporated. Not publicly funded if not open to educate all, and can only be entered by lottery or money. Our country should be supporting equal rights and I am very disappointed in the recent trend for all avenues, creating white supremacy. This is a dangerous group that discriminates for all kinds of things.

  10. Liberals and the NEA are so NEGATIVE full of doom and gloom. Time to start thinking positive HAPPY THOUGHTS. This is an opportunity to be creative, think outside the box and find alternatives. More money may not be the answer. Just saying.

  11. The loss of Title I and II funding will negatively impact our ability to meet the needs of our struggling readers!! As a reading teacher I have been able to serve students in small groups and one on one to meet their needs. These students have been able to meet their reading goals with extra support. Taking these programs away from our schools will be devastating !!!

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