Here’s what we know now about the Trump administration’s plan to gut the public-education budget, which is supposed to serve as a bulwark against the nation’s rising income inequality:
In December, President Trump promised to cut the $10.5 billion education budget by 35 percent, a reduction that would wipe out all of the gains made under the Obama administration. That “slash and burn” approach, as Trump called it, was aimed at saving money so money could be spent on other priorities, like “waste and abuse” and “a military that is not strong enough to deter aggression against the homeland.”
The administration has also proposed cutting more than $1 billion in federal funding that would be used to build or preserve schools. The White House would also cut $80 million from schools serving low-income students in need of extra support, such as new libraries or athletic facilities, and $150 million from a program that helps pay teachers.
In January, after some teachers protested and held demonstrations, the White House indicated that he was reconsidering his attack on the public-school system. The day before the teachers strike, the White House announced it would delay the proposal to close schools, but not to cut any schools.
This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the “School Reform Act,” signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965, which made it the responsibility of every state to meet its educational goals and to “develop a sound academic framework for the instruction of every child.” With the passage of the legislation, schools across the country began to be organized along what are now called “school-level learning systems,” where the curriculum meets state standards and schools focus on academic instruction and student behavior.
The bill laid down detailed guidelines for how schools should be run, and it mandated that children were expected to meet certain academic standards in every subject. The White House argued that the reforms “made it less of a matter of [the individual] making decisions for herself, as some have said, and more of a choice for the parents.”
Critics argue, however, that the administration’s proposals don’t address how much power local people should have in how their public schools are run.
How does the $10.5 billion education cut affect you and your family?
There will be about a thousand teachers laid off, but those who take the job will not have to live in the same communities that the layoffs will take place in. The school district will still have to find
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