Trump’s Budget proposal poses threat to Education

The budget proposal put forward by President Trump announced on May 23 wants to slash funding earmarked for education by about $9.2 billion. Federal support would cease to exist for a few programs, like money allocation for Special Olympics. Money will be also not be given for reading initiative. On the other hand, school vouchers will be promoted and charter schools will enjoy increased funding.  Betsy DeVos, the US Secretary of Education, this plan marks an historic investment when it comes to America's students.

Critics' view

To all others, the Trump plan is a nightmare. Lily Eskelsen Garcia of National Education Association, has described the scheme as a “wrecking ball” John B. King Jr, the Education Secretary under the previous Obama administration, has termed it as a kind of attack on American dream.

Opponents of the Trump plan have valid reasons to be pessimistic. Deeps cuts to spending will happen in both the K-12 level and in higher education. The $9.2 billion cuts translates into a drop of 13.5 percent from the 2017 education budget by US Department of Education. The total budget is $68.2 billion. It is inclusive of a $2 million cut to Office for Civil Rights. The latter is responsible for the enforcement of civil rights law in US schools.

Hitting the weak

The Trump administration will use a portion of funds set aside for the disadvantaged kids to help pay for the choice of school. The Title I finances services provided to low income students. The government has proposed to utilize $1 billion of the Title I money for paying a new program of school choice. Title I recently got a $550 million increase from a budget deal. This would be cut from shares of scheduled funding formula from now on.

The past US administration under then President Barack Obama utilized a program named Investing in Innovation. This will assist states to experiment with new education ideas. The proposal made in the budget will shore up this program by $250 million. The newer versions will encourage the states to utilize the funding for the expansion or creation of school voucher programs. The budget will consolidate a number of programs for the forgiveness of student loan into a single program. This would cap the repayment at about 12.5 percent of the graduates' income. This will also forgive any balances from the undergraduate loans post 15 years. The Trump proposal will eliminate this Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

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