Monday, May 22, 2017

At West Virginia Public School, AFT President Rips Trump Budget Cuts | MilTech

At West Virginia Public School, AFT President Rips Trump Budget Cuts | MilTech:

At West Virginia Public School, AFT President Rips Trump Budget Cuts

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WAR, W.Va.—Following a tour of a McDowell County, W.Va., community school that provides essential services to help lift its disadvantaged students, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten blasted President Trump’s proposed budget cuts, which would directly impede the ability of the school to provide many of its programs.
One of the most recent accomplishments of Reconnecting McDowell—a 125-member public-private partnership created by the AFT and Gayle Manchin, now secretary of the West Virginia Education and the Arts Department—is the conversion of Southside K-8 School into a community school with wraparound health and social services and academic support.
Southside K-8 is a public school in rural, poor McDowell County, whose students depend on federal funding for the additional resources and supports they need to thrive. Today we saw programs that would be axed under the cruel, catastrophic budget cuts the Trump administration wants,” Weingarten said.
Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have proposed a $10.6 billion cut in federal education funding and a more than $1 billion increase for vouchers and other school choice options.
“If Trump and DeVos bothered to venture out to rural McDowell, they would see that public schools are the only choice and that slashing vital investments that directly help students like those at Southside K-8 is like a dagger to the heart,” Weingarten said.
Weingarten noted that McDowell County went for Trump in the November election because voters believed his promises to help the struggling residents economically.
“If education is the economic development engine, which I believe, then cutting public education to smithereens puts the brakes on any possible progress,” she said.

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