Losers in Trump budget: After-school programs, teacher training. Winners: Vouchers, charter schools

President Donald Trump delivered on his pledge of more funding for school choice in his proposed budget. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Can America improve its schools with less money?

They may have to try. President Donald Trump’s proposed budget would cut the Education Department’s $68 billion budget by $9 billion. Among the big losers: After-school programs and teacher training.

Gone is the $2.5 billion for Title II grants for professional development and the billion dollars for 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which underwrites after-school and extended learning efforts.

The president’s budget proposal —  “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again” — defends the cuts by saying there is no evidence the professional development grants and after-school  programs make a difference.

The budget delivers on Trump’s promise of increased school choice with an unprecedented $1.4 billion for vouchers and charter schools.

You can read about the Trump budget on myAJC.com.

The  budget proposal states:

Increases investments in public and private school choice by $1.4 billion compared to the 2017 annualized CR level, ramping up to an annual total of $20 billion, and an estimated $100 billion including matching State and local funds. This additional investment in 2018 includes a $168 million increase for charter schools, $250 million for a new private school choice program, and a $1 billion increase for Title I, dedicated to encouraging districts to adopt a system of student based budgeting and open enrollment that enables Federal, State, and local funding to follow the student to the public school of his or her choice.

“Today’s Budget Blueprint keeps with President Trump’s promise to focus the U.S. Department of Education on its mission to serve students,” said his Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. “The budget places power in the hands of parents and families to choose schools that are best for their children by investing an additional $1.4 billion in school choice programs.”

Here is a sample of reactions to the budget:

Deb Delisle, ASCD Executive Director and CEO: (ASCD is formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development)

The White House’s budget proposal makes it clear that this administration’s support for educators and for enhancing the lives of all children is nothing more than lip service. By slashing the U.S. Department of Education’s budget by $9 billion, including a complete elimination of the $2.25 billion that states and districts use to enhance educators’ skills and knowledge and reduce class size, the administration is demonstrating that our country’s educators and children are not a priority. The success of our country lies in the education we provide to future generations. This budget prevents us from positioning ourselves for a healthy and vibrant economy.

John Schilling, Chief Operating Officer of the American Federation for Children:

In the President’s FY 2018 budget proposal, there are some positive items for school choice advocates, including increasing investment in public and private school choice. While details remain to be seen, this is a good first step in the budget process to demonstrate the Administration intends to fulfill the President’s commitment to expand school choice in America. AFC believes Congress has a rare window of opportunity to facilitate a significant expansion of school choice in America. AFC supports a federal tax credit, which is the broadest and most immediate way to help disadvantaged children around the country access a school of their parents’ choice. AFC also supports re-purposing federal K-12 funds to directly empower recipients of these funds to choose the public or private school of their choice.

Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Congressman Cedric Richmond:

We’ve heard all of this talk from President Trump about African- Americans not having anything to lose under his Administration. The truth is that we have a lot to lose and his budget proposal is proof of that.

Although President Trump promised a ‘New Deal for Black America,’ his budget slashes the federal workforce and cripples domestic programs (e.g. federal student services TRIO programs, LIHEAP, grants for after school programs, Community Development Block Grants, and Community Services Block Grants), and we’re likely to see even more cuts in these areas if he gives tax breaks to the wealthy, as expected. All of this hurts the African-American community. In addition, despite his promise to support and strengthen HBCUs, President Trump proposes to give these schools the same amount of funding they received last year. This budget proposal is not a new deal for African-Americans. It’s a raw deal that robs the poor and the middle-class to pay the richest of the rich.

The Council of Chief State School Officers Executive Director Chris Minnich:

While we are still waiting to see details in the full budget proposal expected later this spring, state chiefs are deeply concerned that the President’s proposed budget prioritizes specific new policies over serving all kids in our states. Federal funding is critical to supporting state education systems and making sure every child receives a high-quality education, no matter their family background or zip code. As a country, we must continue to invest in our public schools and provide adequate funding so every school has the necessary resources to meet the needs of every child. We look forward to working with Congress to ensure that the final budget reflects the priorities of state chiefs as they work to serve all children in their state.

National School Boards Association Executive Director & CEO Thomas J. Gentzel:

The Administration’s proposed $9 billion cut to the education budget is irresponsible, and it would put programs and needed support services provided by schools at risk if it is adopted by Congress. The proposal redirects hundreds of millions of dollars from public schools – often, school districts that rely most heavily on federal aid, forcing them to cut vital services or raise local property taxes.

NSBA remains steadfast in its commitment to ensure public funds remain in public schools. School budgets were hit very hard during the Great Recession, yet public schools fully supported their students and enhanced public education. Further cuts will put some children, particularly children from low income families, at risk of falling behind. This cut discards one of our nation’s core values – a commitment to offer all children an equitable and quality education regardless of their zip code.

Nine of every 10 students attend public schools so we must invest in public education if we want to enhance their lives and bolster U.S. competitiveness. Either we support public schools or we undermine them, the children that attend them and the nation. That is the choice before us.

Pauline Abernathy, executive vice president, Institute for College Access & Success:

With today’s release of President Trump’s FY2018 budget, both the Trump administration and House Republicans have now issued plans that would increase the cost of college for millions of Americans struggling to pay for education and training. Both plans take aim at America’s neediest college students by proposing deep Pell Grant funding cuts. This is not the way to make America great.

The Trump administration’s budget raids $3.9 billion from discretionary Pell Grant funding in fiscal year 2018. It fails to seize the opportunity to use existing program funds to restore access to grants year round and increase the maximum grant, which covers the lowest share of the cost of attending a four-year public college in over 40 years. Furthermore, raiding these funds will increase pressure to cut Pell Grant amounts and eligibility for the over 7.5 million low- and moderate-income students who rely on Pell Grants each year.

The administration’s budget further harms low-income, minority, and first-generation college students by eliminating the campus-based grant program for needy students (SEOG), significantly cutting the already underfunded federal work study program, and reducing funds for the TRIO and GEAR UP college access programs.

Rather than pushing back and committing to making college more affordable, House Republicans have already made clear their plan to eliminate $65 billion in mandatory Pell Grant funding, which would have a devastating impact on students and our workforce. Mandatory funding currently pays for $1,060 of the current maximum Pell Grant (almost one fifth of the grant). Without the $5.9 billion in mandatory Pell Grant funding in FY 2018, either millions of students will see their grants slashed or more than one million students will be denied grants altogether.

As college costs and student debt continue to rise, the President and Congress should be making college more affordable, not less, especially for those who have been left behind by today’s economy. Slashing the federal government’s most effective investment in higher education will leave millions of Americans, and our country, further behind.

Association of American Medical Colleges President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch:

The unprecedented budget cuts proposed by President Trump for FY 2018 would cripple the nation’s ability to support and deliver the important biomedical research that provides hope to all, including the millions of Americans affected by life-threatening and chronic diseases. Gutting funding for NIH, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), programs at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and other federal agencies would have a devastating effect on America’s health security.

Slashing the NIH budget by nearly 20 percent would revert the agency’s budget to below FY 2003 funding levels, even without accounting for inflation, and would irreparably harm the ability of the nation’s scientists to develop cures and treatments for all Americans. This is in stark contrast to the strong bipartisan support NIH has received in Congress.

Likewise, eliminating more than $400 million in health professions and nursing training programs would jeopardize efforts to foster a diverse workforce and to enhance culturally competent care for the most vulnerable patients. HRSA’s workforce development and community-based training programs have demonstrated effectiveness in recruiting underrepresented and disadvantaged students and improving the distribution of health care professionals.

Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools Executive Director Keron Blair: (The alliance is coalition of 10 national organizations in support of public education and public schools, particularly those serving communities of color.)

 Just two months ago, President Trump declared education to be ‘the civil rights issue of our time.’ Sadly, his budget proposal demonstrates his antipathy toward that declaration. This budget hurts black and brown children and children living in poverty; destabilizes neighborhood public schools and invests instead in the failed strategies of unregulated charter schools and vouchers. It confirms that President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos are on the same page—promoting choice for some over quality for all students. By cutting over $9 billion from education funding, the president’s budget proposal begins to dismantle the federal role in ensuring equity in public schools. Instead of investing in our nation’s public schools to provide quality to all children, this budget proposes millions of dollars towards new choice programs that will send public dollars to private schools. It eliminates the 21st Century Learning Centers Program which supports proven before-and after-care programs for low-income students and funds the development of Sustainable Community Schools—public schools that transform the prospects for low-income children. Make no mistake: President Trump and Betsy DeVos plan will devastate public schools in black and brown communities.

This budget would also increase funding for the Department of Education’s Charter School Program by 50 percent, despite the fact that two separate audits by the Office of Inspector General found millions of CSP dollars going to charter schools that never opened or are now closed.While some of this money might go to help a choosen few, a good chunk of it would go into the pockets of millionaires and billionaires who don’t care about kids, but see public education as a scheme to bring in profits.

The Trump/DeVos budget makes it clear that neither Donald Trump or Betsy DeVos care about black, brown or poor kids or poverty-stricken communities. We urge Congress to reject this budget on face.

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten:

This budget takes a meat cleaver to public education. These are the biggest cuts to the education budget we can recall—even during times of great fiscal stress. Only someone who doesn’t know what public schools do and what kids need would contemplate or countenance these kinds of cuts.

This budget also includes both backdoor and ‘front-door’ voucher programs that further the Trump administration’s ideological crusade against public education. The Title I ‘portability’ included is a backdoor voucher scheme that was expressly rejected in the recently enacted bipartisan federal education law.

These cuts, if enacted, will turn into real-life effects on kids. They do what we feared would happen when Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was nominated: defund public schools with the aim of destabilizing and destroying them.

When DeVos was nominated, we warned that she would use her office to wage an ideological attack against public education, and this budget is the latest confirmation of her efforts to rob the future to push failed voucher strategies.

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities:

We are profoundly disappointed with the administration’s proposed budget framework. The fiscal year 2018 “skinny budget,” unveiled this morning, would raid the funds set aside by successive Congresses for Pell grants, eliminate or shortchange critical student aid programs, and drastically cut vital research investments, including a 20 percent cut to the National Institutes of Health.

At a time when higher education and research are more important to the nation’s future than ever before, this budget unwisely undermines both and weakens the objective of a stronger, greater America. We will work with Congress and the administration to make the compelling case that the targeted programs are in the national interest.

Reader Comments 0

237 comments
Euegen Brown
Euegen Brown

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Bonnie Wilson
Bonnie Wilson

People just look for any thing they can to complain about. So what if Trump takes a vacation, people start complaining before they even know if some thing will work. STOP LISTENING TO EVERY RUMOR YOU HEAR AND START WAITING AND SEE FOR YOU SELF IF IT'S TRUE.

Lyn Ferg
Lyn Ferg

Some of these commenters probably couldn't handle ten kids at a birthday party. Now, imagine that birthday party activity--times four in some cases--with one person trying to teach them and not just entertain them. Then, imagine that five days a week and 180 days a year. A lot of people see school as free babysitting instead of what it really is. Those who can afford it send their children to private schools and then act like public education isn't necessary. Those people are your bosses now and are raising their children to be your bosses in the future. Ask some of the commenters where their children go to school.

Kerry Ann
Kerry Ann

I guess Trump was right no matter what be does his supporters will support him! I can see no logical reason why anyone would support less money for education, elimination of meals on wheels and unnecessary spending on golf trips and penthouse living. I see people would rather accept foolishness instead of saying I made a mistake in voting for the wrong candidate.

Trey Thompson
Trey Thompson

Try getting rid of teachers that are there for just a check. They are quit a few around. This nation needs to grow up. Prioritize what's working in education and what's not more money only creates more waste at anything. This is a proposed budget nothing is set in stone

Mack68
Mack68

Dead wrong. 

After school programs allow parents to WORK. And they keep the kids off the street and in supervised activities.

Mary Flanagan
Mary Flanagan

Aren't teachers 'trained' in college when they major in education?? Aren't they trained when they student-teach?? In any other field, professional development is the responsibility of the individual. Don't parents pay for before/after school programs??? They aren't free. If more money is needed, perhaps redundant administrative positions can be eliminated. Does a superintendent need 2 or 3 or more assistants?? How many assistant principles do principles really need?? There is much bloat in all school budgets. What exactly are we getting for spending $14,000+ per student anyway?? Inflated grades. Teaching to the test. High school graduates who read at an 8th grade level, who have minimal math skills. Generations of kids have been victims of these failing schools.

Wayne Wells
Wayne Wells

Yes, 50 years ago, we worked with a lot less money and all the students that wanted to go to college, did, including me who has a MS degree and also an MF degree, and I worked my way through college.

Willow Blue
Willow Blue

I never want to see another post from AJC

Chris Policronis
Chris Policronis

Maybe if Obama and his predecessors had not run up a 20 Trillion dollar debt, this country would be better off financially. finally a President that puts American citizens first.

Rhonda Chambers
Rhonda Chambers

Fk trump of course he wants to cut PBS, can't have 3-12 grade kids smarter than himself.

Judy Lowe
Judy Lowe

Quit depending on federal funding for everything. Schools have received $$$ for years. Have you really seen improvement in education? Teachers are forced to put up with all kinds of behavior and abuse from students. They are also expected to teach those that actually want to learn while dealing with those that are disruptive and abusive. You can't fix these problems by just throwing $$ at it.

Shelia Clark
Shelia Clark

Schools need money of course, but today schools are too dangerous. Home school if you can.

Willie Palestrato
Willie Palestrato

So many obtuse comments about public schools are failing; that simply isn't true for the majority of public schools.

Hunter Seth
Hunter Seth

It's already going to be a mess Georgia is so under funded that it's not funny. Haven't seen anything like this how it is here kids don't even go to school they would rather sell drugs and Rob folks besides go to school. And most of these schools aren't equipt to handle these kids or teach them. And now most teacher are afraid to even teach kids. So if he cuts funding it isn't doing anything to show improvement

Beverly Black
Beverly Black

Yes. Let the students have BOOKS they can take home! FORGET computers, except as reading rewards! Start school LATER, not in the blazing August hear!

An American Patriot
An American Patriot

Good Point, BB....Schools are started in August now because of King Football and it's longer schedule.  We would all be better served if schools went by the old schedule and didn't start until the day after Labor Day in September; however, because of football and parents desire to have time for vacations throughout the school year, it is the way it is.  Schools need to be teaching students that the working world does not work this way and get them used to working 8-4, M-F, with just a few holidays in between and summer vacation.  IMO, that is one big thing wrong with our schools and the inability to educate our children properly.  you know, there's nothing wrong with old.

Christopher Channell
Christopher Channell

Why are they in the shape they are when they had more money? Liberal idiots have zero business teaching anyone.

Lyn Ferg
Lyn Ferg

The last Democratic governor was Roy Barnes and that was when? WHO has been controlling the purse strings? Exactly!

Antoinette Ellison
Antoinette Ellison

We know austerity doesn't work and this is just another form of austerity so no our schools are not going to get better by cutting the budget.

Eric Arrington
Eric Arrington

No they cant he is cutting kids school money to put more money in his pocket hope all a you redbecks are happy.

Martha Heath Johnson
Martha Heath Johnson

What does one expect? After finishing college, he's still not very educated in every sense of the word, and his Secretary of Education is even less educated! I wonder how many teachers voted for Trump?

Stephen Kitchens
Stephen Kitchens

Ga schools should be funded through the lottery. So this is junkie news.

Kuhl Maximus
Kuhl Maximus

Legalizing Pot might help, look at Colorado ... But that's none of my business

Chanelle M. Brown
Chanelle M. Brown

Sooooo cut certain departments, but take those savings and put them all towards a wall that won't be effective but get his buddies paid, and a military so this man-child can play real-life Risk. Just dumb. He's not truly caring about enhancing life.

John Lewis
John Lewis

The rich and elite "improve" their schools by throwing more money at the problem... The greedy rich practice double standards when it comes to spending non rich tax payers money...

Melanie Whitfield
Melanie Whitfield

Does he realize that if he sucked it up & went to Camp David for 1 weekend instead of PB, he could fund Meals on Wheels Federal contribution for a year? Not very good stewardship of OUR money!

Kip Shondel
Kip Shondel

I think for the most part Trump wants it to go down to the state level. States can take care of their education. I don't think education was ever meant for federal government to give them money. Do we really know where this money goes? I would hate to know how much of that money goes for raises for teachers every year. I know some teachers in my area get $5-10000 raises. Thats ridiculous.

elementary-pal
elementary-pal

Please let us know where "your area" can be found.  After 26 years in education, I still make $10,000 less than I did 10 years ago.  I'd like to know who is getting raises!

Lyn Ferg
Lyn Ferg

Please tell me where you live so I may apply. I wish a 2% raise did equal $5-10000. I'm skeptical to believe that's true anywhere in the education field. When there's hardly enough for textbooks, students are paying to participate in sports and classes are overloaded, tell me again about all this magical money floating into the pockets of teachers? Those on the outside need to be educated about education. Spend a day in your local public school. Better still, be a teacher for a day.

Jimi Lopex
Jimi Lopex

The educational system in Georgia already is poor! Now is gonna get worst! Bright future for our country thanks to this rich mans empty mind \U0001f595\U0001f3fc\U0001f621\U0001f44e\U0001f3fc\U0001f1fa\U0001f1f8\U0001f30e

Donna Ross
Donna Ross

You said it rich mans mind tdgaf!

Lynne Collins
Lynne Collins

Just think of all the money the schools could have had if obama spent on education,instead of all his muslim refugees

Ahira Alvarez de Luna
Ahira Alvarez de Luna

He is so inconsiderate!!! Wake up people!!! D. Trump is not a good person!!!

Lynne Collins
Lynne Collins

schools are failing, spend more per student than any other country,and yet ranked 38th in the world,and students are failing in math and science.they need to get rid of common core,and the over bloated teachers unions who are only concerned about the power they have,not education

Val Smith
Val Smith

Yeah buddy Don the con really cares about the average American. If you voted for this clown, you got played big time.

Shelby Riggs
Shelby Riggs

We can't keep throwing money at problems to solve them. You don't get bonuses in business if you don't meet forecasts, budgets, etc. and education should be no different. Regardless of funding only one thing seems to be consistent, poor performing schools, poor teachers running out good teachers, and students suffering the consequences. If you don't do your job, you shouldn't have a job. Plain and simple, yet so many teachers are still in the profession that should have been gone a long time ago. You can't expect good people to stick around when those who don't do their jobs get rewarded equally or even more than those that are truly talented and ensure that children reach their full potential.

Quovatus Green Gaither
Quovatus Green Gaither

The problem is the cuts won't allow for hiring new/good teachers. You are forced to cut the bad teachers out just so you can meet the budget...what do you do after that? The good teachers are forced to teach classes with 40+ students to teach...which is taxing on them. Then their quality of teaching goes down. When you have massive cuts, you must think about the downstream impact. It doesn't stop with just firing teachers. How do you compensate for the work that will still be required to complete?

Shelby Riggs
Shelby Riggs

Really? The problem isn't with hiring teachers, it's with retaining teachers that are exceptional. It's not difficult to get a teaching degree and frankly it needs to be. Far too many teachers exist in the profession that have always been underachievers. Get rid of those people and good teachers who should be in the profession will come. As will more funding. But, I will not give more money to anything that doesn't meet expectations in the first place. Might as well burn money.

Sonja Little
Sonja Little

It never ceases to amaze me the comments people who are not educators and have no idea what it takes to be one. I would gladly allow any one who thinks they can handle teaching, to walk in my shoes for one day. Not only are we responsible for teaching but we are counselors, nurses, psychologists, therapists, and a lot of time take the place of parents. And now that 45 is threatening cuts we will probably be cooks and providing food for our students. Miss me with the degrading comments!

Shelby Riggs
Shelby Riggs

Or how many teachers like you play the victim card all the time instead and make excuses and accept a broken system. Good teachers know that they could do better, push for change and are tired of the excuses of those far too comfortable in their jobs to care about anyone other than themselves. Stop playing the victim card and get into a different profession if you can't put students first, and on a path of real success. I have to admit I am a bit concerned about the type of teacher you are based on your grammar, language, and spelling. I hope it is your phone correcting things. \U0001f91e Our standards for educators need to be higher.

Nic Raines
Nic Raines

Shelby Jones Then you should be first in line to teach. You seem to know everything about it. You are just spewing rhetoric that you heard on Breibart or Trump. You don't have any facts to back up your claim.

Shelby Riggs
Shelby Riggs

It's amazing how many assumptions are made. I oppose more funding for a broken profession, so I am a horrible person, supported a specific candidate, must not know about said profession, etc. False. There are children every single day who are not educated equally because they live in the wrong state, city, and for many other reasons that shouldn't be relevant. Yet, the very people who shouldn't allow for this are failing children day after day. Making excuses trying to justify it, when failing children as an educator should never be acceptable. Programs like Teach for America provide talented individuals to help improve things, ultimately hoping that some will stay in the career. However, few do when those who should care about all children do not. It's never fun being outnumbered. So, unless you are in a affluent community, you as a child have your education in limbo. That isn't right. Yet, who questions that? Money isn't the answer. Not yet.

Kira Jade Chrysalis
Kira Jade Chrysalis

Shelby, you're the selfish, heartless type of person who tells barefoot people to pull themselves up by bootstraps that aren't even there.

E Pluribus Unum
E Pluribus Unum

Do you know the person that posted

the previous comments? You have

made a great deal of assumptions

about the person with very limited

data.

elementary-pal
elementary-pal

With all due respect, unless you have a child in a school  that is not affluent, you have no idea what we do in these schools.  I would put my teachers up against any in our wealthy schools.  They teach harder, provide more opportunities, give more time, and sacrifice more of their own time to teach children who live in poverty.  They have a heart for our students.  


You assume because our school, or schools like ours, struggles to meet arbitrary measures that we are not teaching or our teachers are not good.  You are mistaken.  


I could easily place our teachers in a wealthy school and the scores would continue to be high, but I would bet my teaching certificate that test scores would not improve if the teachers from the wealthy school moved to our school.  


Just this month we had a student from our school place first place in the regional social studies fair.  He and his peers received 12 ribbons for placing 1st, 2nd, or 3rd at the region level.  Every student from our school who participated, placed.  Many of our students also placed in the regional Tome Con competition (a reading club) in areas such as electronic media book reviews, reading comprehension, and book presentations.  Before the 5th writing test was eliminated, our school outscored the majority of schools in our district - and yet we are the 2nd poorest.  


We had visitors in our building this week to observe 7 different teachers - outstanding teachers who are examples for others.  Yes, they teach in a school with 97% poverty.  Yes, they do this by choice.  And yes, they are amazing!


So, while our school might be in the "wrong" neighborhood, on the wrong side of the tracks, in the undesirable area of town, our students are not in limbo.  They are learning a second language and academic content.  But we are still very close to the mark that is considered to be "failing."  Why?  Because our students have far more to learn than those who live in more affluent areas, at least in terms of academics.  


You have been drinking the Kool-Aid of those who know not what we do!  Come spend a day- or several - in a school like mine and tell me what you would do differently.  

Shelby Riggs
Shelby Riggs

Kira Jade Chrysalis perhaps you need to look at yourself. It is animal abuse to put a shock collar on a cat, yet you have that for your profile picture. I don't tolerate people mistreating animals either. Unacceptable. Look at yourself instead of accusing someone you don't even know of being horrible when you can't even respect an animal.

Quovatus Green Gaither
Quovatus Green Gaither

How can you hire new teachers/good teachers when you don't have the funds? That's all I'm saying. Just slashing budgets does not help.

Shelby Riggs
Shelby Riggs

No different than any other business. If someone isn't doing their job, let them go and hire someone to take their spot who will. Out with the bad, in with the good. Why do you want to keep all the bad teachers?

Shelby Riggs
Shelby Riggs

Sonja, if you aren't happy in your job, I would suggest you find one that you will be happy in. Students deserve better than someone with your attitude.

Lyn Ferg
Lyn Ferg

Wall Street didn't get bonuses from taxpayer bailouts? It seems they didn't meet ANY forecast, projection nor budget and still walked away with MILLIONS.