Thursday, May 18, 2017

Thinking DeVos and Trump Won't Get Commencement Invites After this Budget

From the Washington Post:

  • Funding for college work-study programs would be cut in half, 
  • public-service loan forgiveness would end 
  • and hundreds of millions of dollars that public schools could use for mental health, advanced coursework and other services would vanish under a Trump administration plan to cut $10.6 billion from federal education initiatives, according to budget documents obtained by The Washington Post. 
  • The proposed budget would also reshape financial aid programs that help 12 million students pay for college.

  

The administration would channel part of the savings into its top priority: school choice. It seeks to spend about $400 million to expand charter schools and vouchers for private and religious schools, and another $1 billion to push public schools to adopt choice-friendly policies.

(Just to note, two charter supporters ran for the LA School Board and both won this week.  That Board is now run by a majority of charter supporters.  I think you can guess what one of my questions to Seattle School Board candidates will be.)
Under the administration’s budget, two of the department’s largest expenditures in K-12 education, special education and Title I funds to help poor children, would remain unchanged compared to federal funding levels in the first half of fiscal 2017. However, high-poverty schools are likely to receive fewer dollars than in the past because of a new law that allows states to use up to 7 percent of Title I money for school improvement before distributing it to districts.
What might happen when this gets to Congress?
Though Trump and DeVos are proponents of local control, their proposal to use federal dollars to entice districts to adopt school-choice policies is reminiscent of the way the Obama administration offered federal money to states that agreed to adopt its preferred education policies through a program called Race to the Top.

It is likely to meet resistance on Capitol Hill because of strong constituencies seeking to protect current funding, ideological opposition to vouchers and fierce criticism of DeVos, a longtime Republican donor who became a household name during a bruising Senate confirmation battle.
Specific cuts?
The cuts would come from eliminating at least 22 programs, some of which Trump outlined in March. 

Gone, for example, would be $1.2 billion for after-school programs that serve 1.6 million children, most of whom are poor, and $2.1 billion for teacher training and class-size reduction

The documents obtained by The Post — dated May 23, the day the president’s budget is expected to be released — outline the rest of the cuts, including a $15 million program that provides child care for low-income parents in college; a $27 million arts education program; two programs targeting Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian students, totaling $65 million; two international education and foreign language programs, $72 million; a $12 million program for gifted students; and $12 million for Special Olympics education programs.

The Trump administration would dedicate no money to a fund for student support and academic enrichment that is meant to help schools pay for, among other things, mental-health services, anti-bullying initiatives, physical education, Advanced Placement courses and science and engineering instruction.
Who wins?
The cuts would make space for investments in choice, including $500 million for charter schools, up 50 percent over current funding. The administration also wants to spend $250 million on “Education Innovation and Research Grants,” which would pay for expanding and studying the impacts of vouchers for private and religious schools. It’s not clear how much would be spent on research versus on the vouchers themselves.
They would be increasing spending at the Ed Department itself.  That's odd for two people who claim they want to reduce government spending.  One of the costs is to protect DeVos.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Yep, that's the DeVos MO: defund public education in the name of "school choice."

--No DeVos