Trump's Budget Cuts $9 Billion From Public Ed, Dumps Money Into Private Schools

by Jerriann Sullivan
Image via Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Trumps’ budget proposal strips public schools of $9 billion

President Donald Trump released his long-awaited budget proposal on Thursday, and everything that makes America great will face steep cuts or total elimination. One of the most insane ideas involves taking $9 billion or 13 percent from public school while also investing more money into private schools. His legacy as president will likely be “steal from the poor and give to the rich.”

Trump wants to spend roughly $1.4 billion on private schools now as the first effort in his plan of “ramping up to an annual total of $20 billion,” the budget says. At $20 billion, we’d be giving a third of existing federal aid for education to private schools. Of the initial $1.4 billion, a “new private school choice program” would be added and cost taxpayers $250 million.

The bulk of the budget would go to “encouraging districts to adopt a system of student-based budgeting and open enrollment that enables Federal, State, and local funding to follow the student to the public school of his or her choice,” the budget says. Not only does this sound like a logistical nightmare, but education experts say this will drain schools of students and funding. The proposed budget also calls for $168 million for charter schools. Charter schools are privately run but are funded with our tax dollars. Under Trump’s plan, we’re going to take money from professional educators and instead give it to programs that have no oversight. Again, no thanks. We’d like our kids in schools led by the experts in education. Trump and his secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, wouldn’t know what that’s like, though, considering neither went to public schools.

Lily Eskelsen García is the president of the National Education Association, which is the country’s largest teacher’s union. She called Trump’s budget proposal “reckless and wrong.” García said in a statement: “Sadly, the Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos scheme to take taxpayer dollars from public schools to fund private school vouchers is misguided and would harm our students. Vouchers do not work, they undermine accountability to parents and taxpayers, and they have failed to provide opportunity to all of our students.”

Another cause for concern are the programs Trump wants to cut including after-school and summer programs for children and professional training for teachers. Considering almost every household is a two-income household after-school programs are crucial for families. And who in their right mind is against teachers being better at their jobs? We pay teachers cruel wages and demand near perfection from them. The least we can do is chip in for all the extra classes we force them to take.

Surely we can all agree that making America great isn’t going to happen if our children don’t get the education they deserve.