Legislative and political update by the Alliance for Quality Education
AQE Calls on New York’s Congressional Delegation to Unite and Reject Trump-DeVos Agenda
ALBANY, NY (May 23, 2017) — Donald Trump’s federal budget proposal announced Tuesday makes deep cuts in federal funding to public schools as part of his agenda to privatize public education through expansions of charter schools and school voucher programs. The proposed budget for the Department of Education cuts 13 percent of existing funding, or $9 billion, eliminates over 20 programs including before- and after- school programs, summer programs, community schools and college aid to low-income students. Cuts to these vital programs will have a disproportionate impact on Black and Brown students, low income students and English Language learners.
Other cuts include programs for teacher training and class-size reduction; arts education; international education programs; and many others.
Trump proposes instead to spend an additional $1.4 billion on privatization including expanding charter schools and vouchers for private and religious schools. Even his proposal to increase Title I funding is actually an effort to redirect dollars away from the neediest public schools to affluent neighborhoods and privately-run charter schools, and is a move towards private school vouchers. His budget is the first step toward his shared agenda with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to defund and ultimately force the privatization of our nation’s public education system.
“Trump’s proposed cuts to federal education funding are a clear threat to our public education system,” said Zakiyah Ansari, Advocacy Director, Alliance for Quality Education. “Over 95 percent of New York children attend public schools, and if these cuts are enacted they will result in larger class sizes, fewer after school programs, and a reduction in art classes for our children. The Trump-DeVos budget plan would exacerbate racial and economic injustices in education through the provision of educational opportunities to some, and their denial to others. We need Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and all members of the New York Congressional Delegation to stand strong to protect our most vulnerable children. New York’s nine Republican Members of Congress must break ranks with their party leader to reject this proposal.”