Home > Uncategorized > DeVos/Trump Budget Horrific for Children Raised in Poverty, Great for Prophets and Profiteers

DeVos/Trump Budget Horrific for Children Raised in Poverty, Great for Prophets and Profiteers

May 20, 2017

I’ve read several posts on the forthcoming DeVos/Trump budget… the most blunt and devastating of which came from Esquire blogger Charles Pierce. Titled “Is There a Point to All This Cruelty“, Pierce’s post includes this synopsis of the cuts from a Washington Post article:

The cuts would come from eliminating at least 22 programs, some of which Trump outlined in March. Gone, for example, would be $1.2 billion for after-school programs that serve 1.6 million children, most of whom are poor, and $2.1 billion for teacher training and class-size reduction. The documents obtained by The Post — dated May 23, the day the president’s budget is expected to be released — outline the rest of the cuts, including a $15 million program that provides child care for low-income parents in college; a $27 million arts education program; two programs targeting Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian students, totaling $65 million; two international education and foreign language programs, $72 million; a $12 million program for gifted students; and $12 million for Special Olympics education programs…

…The Trump administration would dedicate no money to a fund for student support and academic enrichment that is meant to help schools pay for, among other things, mental-health services, anti-bullying initiatives, physical education, Advanced Placement courses and science and engineering instruction. Congress created the fund, which totals $400 million this fiscal year, by rolling together several smaller programs. Lawmakers authorized as much as $1.65 billion, but the administration’s budget for it in the next fiscal year is zero.

He then poses this plaintive question… and the response:

Is there a point to all this gratuitous cruelty? Why, yes, there is.

The cuts would make space for investments in choice, including $500 million for charter schools, up 50 percent over current funding. The administration also wants to spend $250 million on “Education Innovation and Research Grants,” which would pay for expanding and studying the impacts of vouchers for private and religious schools. It’s not clear how much would be spent on research versus on the vouchers themselves.

While Mr. Pierce uses the balance of his column to excoriate Ms. DeVos, I want to offer what I believe to be an accurate assessment of how much will be spent on research versus the vouchers themselves. Based on Mr. Trump’s refusal to fund research and accept the findings of research, I would guess that a 100:1 ratio of spending tor research is probable… IF any money at all is earmarked for research. Oh… and my further guess is that the research will be done by a libertarian think tank.

In the meantime, while federal funds are used to subsidize parents who enroll their children in religious schools, children raised in poverty will lose after school programs, teachers, and opportunities for post secondary education. Prophets operating parochial schools and profiteers operating charters will gain, though.. and the marketplace will replace democratically operated public schools.

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