Friday, March 3, 2017

Why the Trump/DeVos visit to a Catholic school is so unusual — and what it really means - The Washington Post

Why the Trump/DeVos visit to a Catholic school is so unusual — and what it really means - The Washington Post:

Why the Trump/DeVos visit to a Catholic school is so unusual — and what it really means 


President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos made their first official joint trip to a school on Friday. It was a highly unusual trip for a president, but one that clearly signals his educational priorities.
Trump and DeVos visited St. Andrew Catholic School in Orlando, where nearly 300 students attend with help from the controversial Florida Tax Credit Scholarships program. They were joined by Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, and her husband and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, as well as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Florida Gov. Rick Scott, both Republicans who support school choice.
Both Trump and DeVos have praised the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program, which offers tax incentives for individuals and corporations to donate money to organizations that provide “scholarships” for private and religious school tuition and other educational expenses. Supporters say such programs help students from low-income families attend private schools, while critics say they are privatizing public education, offer the public no accountability and violate the constitutional tenet of separation of church and state.
Incidentally, Trump and DeVos, both billionaires, own homes in Florida.
The Associated Press reported that Trump first visited a fourth-grade classroom at St. Andrew, and shook hands with students who told him they were learning about Florida’s history. The AP said that he told one girl who said she wanted to open her own business that she’s “gonna make a lot of money,” but he warned her “don’t run for politics.”
A report from the pool of journalists permitted to accompany the president said that when the visitors were ushered into a “chilly” classroom, “teacher Jane Jones instructed some in the class of roughly 25 students to remove their sweaters.” It also said:
The pupils waited patiently for the arrival of the president in identical red polo shirts. Ms. Jones kept their attention from diverting by discussing the presidency. “One day this could be for you,” she said to the class, referring to the security and press awaiting the president.
“What are our goals? Where are we going?” Ms. Jones asked.
“College and heaven,” the class replied in unison.
“We’re on our way,” she said.
Trump is the first sitting president to visit a Catholic school since Ronald Reagan visited St. Agatha Catholic School in the Archdiocese of Detroit on Oct. 10, 1984, years after he was Why the Trump/DeVos visit to a Catholic school is so unusual — and what it really means - The Washington Post:


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