Trump Education Budget Tips Scale Against 'Marginalized Communities'
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
SEATTLE - Teachers and education staff are watching closely this week to see what happens with the Trump administration's proposed cuts to Education Department programs, as Congress works on a budget for next year.
The proposal slashes more than 13 percent, or $9 billion, off the agency's budget. While this might change during negotiations, Karen Strickland, president of the American Federation of Teachers of Washington, said she sees a theme that is emerging from the proposal.
"There are cuts that will have a direct negative impact on more marginalized communities," she said, "whether that be low-income, communities of color, English-language learners - or in higher ed, first-generation college students."
Strickland said cutting funding completely for after-school programs disproportionately hurts working families, for example. She also pointed to programs such as GEAR UP and TRIO, now on the chopping block - although they've been successful at helping low-income students prepare for college. The Trump administration has said the programs have been targeted because they haven't been proven to work.
However, not all programs would see cuts. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has paved the way for private schools, adding $250 million toward a private-school choice program. Strickland said that takes money away from public schools, tipping the scales toward private education - which isn't affordable for most Americans.
"Things like vouchers, they don't usually cover the full cost of going to a private school," she said, "so what that ends up being is financial aid for wealthy people who can fill in the gap."
Despite the proposed cuts being on the table for more than a month, nothing is set in stone. Strickland said the uncertainty is stressful for the educators and staff she represents.
"The other thing is, it takes time to advocate and fight for protecting the budget," she said. "You know, we're not building anything - we're defending against losses, and I think that that's really stressful for folks, too."
get more stories like this via email
California tribes are headed to the White House Tribal Nations Summit tomorrow, where they will ask Congress and the Biden administration to create …
A new report shows Maine is exceeding the home-heating goals set forth in its ambitious four-year climate plan to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions…
By India Gardener / Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration. According to Attorney …
It's estimated that one in three Kentuckians struggles to pay medical bills, and the issue continues to be a driving factor in personal bankruptcy …
Senate lawmakers are soon expected to vote on the Modernizing Opioid Treatment Access Act, legislation introduced this year by Republican Sen…
Health and Wellness
A new program in Utah wants to help first responders learn to recognize and work through their traumatic life events through horsemanship. This …
Health and Wellness
A coalition of Nevada groups is behind a statewide effort to make Nevada an Employment First state. That would align the state with a U.S. Labor …
Government accountability groups want increased transparency in New York criminal court decisions. This comes after a new report finds only 6% of …