Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Jeff Bryant: DeVos Budget Robs from Poor Kids to Fund Schools That Discriminate

DeVos Budget Robs from Poor Kids to Fund Schools That Discriminate:

DeVos Budget Robs from Poor Kids to Fund Schools That Discriminate

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Jeff Bryant

You and I witnessed history last week, and not the good kind.
At a House subcommittee hearing In Washington, DC, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was called to defend to Congress the Trump administration’s education budget which cuts education options for poor kids and increases options for parents to leave public schools.
DeVos called this a matter of making “tough choices” and “putting an emphasis on the programs that are proven to help students.” But tough questioning from Democratic Representatives revealed the real priority of this administration isn’t pragmatic; it’s ideological – and it’s a particularly ugly ideology our federal government has historically been focused on dismantling.
More specifically, Trump’s education budget cuts $9.2 billion (13.5 percent) of federal outlays to public schools, and eliminates or phases-out twenty-two programs.
Both Republicans and Democrats expressed concerns with cuts in federal support for afterschool programs, Special Olympics, arts education, gifted and talented students, teacher training, class size reduction, career and technical education, and programs targeted at helping disadvantaged students and veterans successfully complete high school and enter higher education.
But the sharpest exchanges with the Secretary focused on the budget’s significant funding increases for alternatives to public schools, namely, charter schools and school vouchers that allow parents to withdraw from the public education system and send their children to privately-operated schools at taxpayer expense.
Trump’s budget proposes to increase direct federal aid to charter schools by $500 million, devote $370 million to research and promote vouchers, and shift $1 billion in Title I funds to states and districts that allow families to pull their children out of public schools, taking DeVos Budget Robs from Poor Kids to Fund Schools That Discriminate:
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