Education Reform Now (ERN) Chief Policy Officer Charles Barone released the following statement in response to President Trump’s proposed budget cuts for fiscal year 2021:
“Since becoming President, Donald Trump has proposed one budget after another that slashes critical safety net programs and cuts deeply into education funding. When it comes to those issues, on the whole, this year’s proposal is the worst yet—amounting to nothing less than a full on assault on public education.
Trump’s proposed budget would reduce federal investments in education by about 8% for a total cut of $5.6 billion. Equally bad, Trump would inflict further harm on children and families by rolling almost 30 separate education programs into a single block grant that would deemphasize prioritization of funding for educating students from historically disadvantaged groups; providing professional development to teachers; and supporting students with special needs, migrant students, and homeless students.
We’ve long suspected that Trump and his Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, have little interest in promoting public school choice and are committed only to privatizing education and crony capitalism. This budget undoubtedly proves that theory. Among those programs rolled into the proposed block grant are the federal programs that provide targeted support to public charter schools and magnet schools, which are major drivers in opening up new public school choices to parents. The only winner in Trump’s budget are private school vouchers, where Trump’s $5 billion proposed investment almost exactly matches his proposed cuts to public education.
We believe that access to an excellent public education is a fundamental right for every child in this country, regardless of his or her background. To realize that goal, we support an education reform agenda that invests in public education, spurs innovation, broadens choice, and maintains rigorous accountability. This budget is anathema to those beliefs. Once again, a budget is a reflection of values and the Administration’s proposed disinvestment in public education clearly demonstrates a severe lack of understanding for the needs of our kids, and the educational future they deserve.”