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Trump slashes school funds, but increases aid for charters, vouchers


Many education groups reacted with dismay to President Donald Trump’s proposal to slash education funding to after-school programs and teacher training, while increasing the federal investment in vouchers and charter schools.

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.

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

Traditional education and teacher groups blasted the deep cuts.

“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,” said American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten.

But school choice advocates praised the budget’s focus on vouchers and charters. “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,” said John Schilling, chief operating officer of the American Federation for Children.

To read more reaction to the Trump budget, go to the AJC Get Schooled blog.



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