ALBANY, NY (March 16, 2016) — Donald Trump’s federal budget proposal announced Wednesday includes $9.2 billion in cuts to the Department of Education — 14 percent of the existing budget. Trump’s proposal would make deep cuts to federal funding to public schools, including nearly $4 billion before- and after- school programs, summer programs, and aid to low-income students. The cuts to these vital programs will have a disproportionate impact on Black and Brown students, low-income students and English language learners that they serve.
Although he proposes cuts to the Department of Education overall, Trump proposed large increases for expanding charter schools and school voucher programs, the first step toward defunding and ultimately forcing the privatization of our nation’s public education system. Even his proposal to add $1 billion for Title I funding would be dedicated to “portability” programs that would, in effect, act as a school voucher system directing taxpayer dollars away from public schools and into private and for-profit schools.
“Trump’s proposed cuts to federal education funding are just the first step in his and Betsy DeVos’s ideological crusade to bring down our public education system,” said Jasmine Gripper, Legislative Director, Alliance for Quality Education, “Here in New York over 90 percent of children attend traditional public schools, and this budget makes clear that they are facing an unprecedented threat from the federal government.
“Blocking this plan will require the Republican members of New York’s Congressional delegation to reject this proposal — the well-being of our most vulnerable children is in their hands. It is also essential, in light of Trump’s proposal, that our representatives in the State Legislature do the right thing and adequately fund our schools in the forthcoming budget. Now is the moment for our State Senate Republicans to differentiate themselves from the Trump administration’s agenda, and stand up to protect our public schools.”