In Focus: Trump’s Disastrous Coronavirus Response, Volume #8
May 13, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic in the United States continues to worsen because of President Trump.
Volume #8: Trump Has Failed Students
80,000 Americans have died, 33 million Americans have filed for unemployment, the unemployment rate is the highest it’s been since the Great Depression, and at the same time students across the country face record-high student loan debt totaling about $1.5 trillion.
Throughout this pandemic, Trump has put himself and his political fortunes over the health and well-being of the American people. He has led a chaotic and dysfunctional response that made this crisis worse than it needed to be. The same is true for his Education Department.
Betsy DeVos has repeatedly used this crisis as an opportunity to push her disastrous agenda that undermines our nation’s public school system. She has been slow to provide emergency aid to those in need and once again failed students buried under mountains of student loan debt.
Trump’s failed response has not only hurt small businesses, workers and frontline heroes, but it’s hurt our students and teachers as well, who were already struggling to make rent or get their next meal after schools were forced to shut down across the country.
Our country simply deserves better from this administration. When communities are already hurting, their government should be there to pick them up, not add to their pain.
Trump’s Education Department has been slow to release emergency grants to college students and blocked undocumented students from recieving assistance.
- Trump’s Education Department was slow to distribute federal coronavirus relief funds for colleges, sending out less than one percent of CARES Act money after nearly a month.
- DeVos chose to block undocumented college students from coronavirus relief aid. DeVos defended her position by saying she was “follow[ing] the law,” despite there being no explicit restrictions from Congress on which students could be eligible for grants.
The coronavirus pandemic represents yet another instance of DeVos’ inability to look out for Americans who carry high levels of student loan debt.
- Student loan borrowers filed a lawsuit against DeVos over the Education Department’s failure to stop garnishing wages for defaulted loans during the coronavirus pandemic.
- As of early April, the Education Department had outdated information on its own website that led to confusion on the suspension of student loan payments during the pandemic.
DeVos has taken advantage of coronavirus, viewing it as an “opportunity” to push her disastrous agenda that undermines our nation’s public school system.
- DeVos said that the interruption to education during the coronavirus pandemic “is reaffirming” her long-held beliefs of alternative education models, which have included referring to public schools as “a dead end” and promoting taxpayer-funded vouchers for private education.
- DeVos claimed coronavirus was an “opportunity” for people to “look seriously at the fact that K-12 education for too long has been static and very stuck in one method of delivering and making instruction available.”
- Pressed on limited high-speed internet access, DeVos opted to plug her school choice agenda and said that distance learning can happen “in the woods behind your house.”
- DeVos allocated $180 million in coronavirus relief funding for her “Rethink K-12 Education Models Grant” program, which will help undermine our public school system.
- Guidance issued by Trump’s Education Department on coronavirus CARES Act funds gave private schools a boost at the expense of high-poverty school districts.