Trump Education Budget Hammers Public Schools But Helps Charters And Vouchers

As you see in this wrapup from Education Week, President Trump’s education budget for the next fiscal year is anything but public school friendly.  Some excerpts:

President Donald Trump’s first budget seeks to slash the Education Department’s roughly $68 billion budget by $9 billion, or 13 percent in the coming fiscal year, whacking popular programs that help districts offer after-school programs, and hire and train teachers.

At the same time, it seeks a historic $1.4 billlon federal investment in school choice, including new money for private school vouchers and charter schools, as well as directing $1 billion to follow students to the school of their choice. 

But the proposal would completely scrap two big programs Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants, or Title II, which is currently funded at $2.25 billion and helps states and districts hire and provide professional development for teachers. The budget proposal would  of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which is funded at more than $1 billion currently and finances after-school and extended-learning programs. Trump’s budget says both programs are spread too thin to be effective. 

The charter school grant program, currently funded at $333 million, would get a sizeable increase of $168 million. The program helps states and charter organization start up, replicate, and expand schools, with a special focus on helping Charter Management Organizations with a track record of success open new campuses.

Trump is also proposing a new $250 million private school choice initiative that could provide vouchers for use at private schools, including religious schools.

Trump and his team “went looking for the most wasteful, most indefensible programs” and eliminated them to make room for big increases to defense spending, law enforcement, and building a wall along the border with Mexico, Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, told reporters Wednesday. 

And some people wonder why morale of educators is so low and why young people are not choosing to become teachers.

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