I admit that since the election I’ve generally seen fit to be somewhat measured when it comes to education issues. The Trumpkins won’t really be able to literally destroy public education, will they? As it turns out, they really do damn well plan to try.
The budget includes increases for the charter school fund, a new program for private school choice, and incentives for states to make sure some Title I dollars for low-income students follow them as they move among schools. The $1.4 billion in new dollars for school choice eventually will ramp up to $20 billion, the budget says, matching the amount Trump pledged to spend on school choice during his campaign.
“We will give our children the right to attend the school of their choice, one where they will be taught to love our country and its values,” Trump pledged at a rally in Nashville Wednesday evening.
The department overall would see cuts of $9 billion, which amounts to 13 percent of its “discretionary” budget (the part not including mandatory higher-education spending).
Don’t count on Congress changing this much. Plenty of Democrats there remain fans of the school deformer movement, despite the proven failure and corruption of its agenda. They will probably mitigate the cuts to public school spending somewhat, but won’t change the privatization initiatives to speak of.
Here’s where some hope that we can avoid total disaster comes from. (Don’t get me wrong, there will be plenty of opposition in urban districts, too.)
Rural schools make up more than half of the school districts in America and serve around a quarter of the nation’s students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. But rural schools are in trouble.
Dropout rates for rural students are significantly worse than in urban districts, suspension rates are higher, school facilities are frequently lower quality, funding is disproportionally lower, and reading proficiency levels are sometimes below statewide averages.
“Compared to students in urban or suburban schools, students in rural areas and small towns are less likely to attend college,” a recent article in The Atlantic notes.
None of these problems will be solved by creating more charter schools and using vouchers to siphon off even more students and resources. In fact, that option will only make things worse.
People who live in rural communities know this and are speaking out against charter schools and voucher programs coming into their school districts.
(Education Opportunity Network)
– 13 easy ways you can stymie Trump-DeVos, advocate for students, public schools (Education Votes)
Also be aware that Trump/Congress are apparently looking to make major changes to the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act. The potential outcome is quite unclear, from what I’ve seen at this time.