DeVos Can’t Defend Trump’s Disastrous Education Budget Cuts

Today, Betsy DeVos is testifying before Congress, where she’ll have to defend Trump’s disastrous proposed budget cuts to education programs, which would hurt students and teachers.

Trump’s budget slashes the Department of Education’s funding by more than $5 billion, even as it calls for a $5 billion tax break for private school tuition.

Education Week: “Trump’s spending proposal for fiscal 2021, released Monday, would cut the Education Department’s budget by $5.6 billion, reducing it to $66.6 billion, a 7.8 percent decrease.”

Washington Post: “The president’s biggest education push is at the K-12 level. He is asking for a $5 billion tax break to support private school tuition and other educational expenses, an idea that may appeal to conservatives who want to give parents more school choices. The proposal was included in last year’s budget but failed to pass Congress with Democrats opposed. If adopted, the tax break would represent a significant shift of federal tax money to private education.”

Trump’s budget eliminates dedicated funds for 29 programs, including support for rural schools, after-school programs for students in need, and teachers.

Washington Post: “Funding for 29 education programs, including more than $24 billion in spending, would be replaced with a single block-grant program to states totaling just over $19 billion. The new system would allow states to set their own priorities and would reduce the federal role in education, a longtime goal of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.”

New York Times: “Among the programs that would be zeroed out to fund the grant are 21st century community learning centers, which funds after-school programs for low-income students; funding for programs in rural schools and magnet schools; and funding for homeless and migrant students.”

Chalkbeat: “The individual programs on the chopping block include: … Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants, which is also known as Title II, Part A, which districts can use for teacher training and to reduce class sizes ($2.1 billion).”

Trump’s budget slashes federal spending on student loan programs by $170 billion and offered no ideas to deal with the student loan crisis.

Hartford Courant: “The proposal would cut $170 billion from student loan programs, partly by eliminating subsidized federal student loans and ending the public service loan forgiveness program (both of which appeared in last year’s budget but were not adopted by Congress).”

Washington Post: “At one point Trump had demanded that his aides come up with a bold program to address student debt, sweeping enough to compete with top Democrats in this year’s presidential campaign. But administration officials could not reach consensus on how to do so.  The $4.8 trillion budget plan put forward on Monday instead cuts billions of dollars from the student loan program without pitching any significant new initiatives.”