White House Budget Proposal Undermines Public Education, Discards Nation's Values

By Joetta Sack-Min

Updated 3/21/2017

Several member organizations of the Learning First Alliance spoke out against the White House proposal to cut $9 billion in funding for public education and the U.S. Department of Education while funding new voucher and school choice programs. These are excepts from some of the statements:

AASA, the School Superintendents Association: "AASA is deeply concerned that the first budget proposal from the new administration doesn’t prioritize investment in the key federal programs that support our nation’s public schools, which educate more than 90 percent of our nation’s students," said AASA Executive Director Dan Domenech. "We cannot support a proposal that prioritizes privatization and steers critical federal funding into policies and programs that are ineffective and flawed education policy. 

American Federation of Teachers: "This budget takes a meat cleaver to public education," said AFT President Randi Weingarten. "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." 

CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking): "CoSN opposes the Trump Administration's irresponsible and shortsighted proposal to cut the Department of Education budget by $9 billion," said CEO Keith Krueger. "Growing the nation's economy depends on investing in our students and teachers over the long run — not short-changing them, as the proposal would do."

International Society for Technology in Education: "While it is ultimately up to Congress to dispose of the President's proposals through the appropriations process and some Republican members have expressed skepticism about the President's proposals already, some significant cuts are likely in the end. If the Department of Education's overall funding level of $59 billion becomes law, it will take federal education support back to approximately FY2008 levels."

Learning Forward: “The research is clear – effective leadership and teaching are essential to more students achieving at higher levels," said Executive Director Stephanie Hirsh. "Therefore, eliminating federal funding that is directly tied to supporting educator effectiveness will be incredibly damaging to the real progress we’re seeing in schools across the country."

National Education Association: "The priorities Donald Trump outlined in his budget are reckless and wrong for students and families," said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. "If enacted, the Trump budget will crush the dreams of students and deprive millions of opportunities." 

National School Boards Association: "This cut discards one of our nation’s core values – a commitment to offer all children an equitable and quality education regardless of their zip code," said NSBA Executive Director and CEO Thomas J. Gentzel. “Nine of every 10 students attend public schools so we must invest in public education if we want to enhance their lives and bolster U.S. competitiveness. Either we support public schools or we undermine them, the children that attend them and the nation. That is the choice before us.” 

National PTA: "Opportunity starts and ends with access to a great education. Equitable, high-quality public education for all students is essential to children and the nation’s long-term success,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. “National PTA is disappointed to see President Trump’s proposal cuts funding for critical public education programs, while investing in private school options. National PTA opposes any private school choice system that drains public school resources. Public dollars must remain invested in public schools for the benefit of all students and the future of our nation.”

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