A Year with Donald Trump: The Miseducation of Betsy DeVos

Posted by | January 24, 2018 | Uncategorized | No Comments

By Kenneth Quinnell

Betsy DeVos' Report Card

A Year with Donald Trump: The Miseducation of Betsy DeVos


Working people warned that President Donald Trump’s appointment of Betsy DeVos to lead the Education Department would be a disaster for our families and our communities. Over the past year, DeVos has waged an all-out assault on our public education system and made it harder for students to learn and grow. Here are the most egregious actions from the Trump-DeVos education team:

  • Trump’s budget would cut 13% ($9 billion) of the Department of Education’s funding.
  • The Trump budget would eliminate the Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants program by $2.1 billion, an amount which could pay the salaries of more than 35,000 teachers. School districts use the program to support and train their teachers.
  • Would invest $1.4 billion of new funding into “school choice,” taking much-needed money from public schools and giving it to private schools. The investment is expected to grow to $20 billion annually.
  • Promoted using vouchers to channel funds away from public schools toward private schools that have lower quality standards and can discriminate in admissions based on gender, religion, race and income. Charters also often require children with disabilities to sign away their rights in order to receive a voucher.
  • Proposed eliminating the Public-Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which provides aid to borrowers who go into public-service jobs, including government organizations, tax-exempt nonprofit groups and public schools.
  • Removed the requirement that teachers and educators be required stakeholders in implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act, intimating that feedback from educators isn’t “absolutely necessary” for making education plans.
  • The Southern Poverty Law Center notes that the administration’s hateful rhetoric has led to increased bullying in public schools and increased anxiety rates among children of color.
  • Proposed cutting $200 million from the Women, Infants and Children supplemental nutrition program, known as WIC, and threatened other nutrition programs that help students perform better in school.
  • Would eliminate $1.2 billion for 21st Century Community Learning Centers and summer programs, which provide before- and after-school care for 1.6 million children, making it possible for parents to go to work.
  • Proposed an 18% cut to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which could lead to 160,000 being eliminated from Head Start programs.
  • Rescinded Obama-era guidance to keep transgender students in schools with equal access to bathrooms, school facilities and programs.
  • Would eliminate the Corporation for National and Community Service, which funds programs such as AmeriCorps, Teach For America and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
  • Appointed Candice Jackson to be acting secretary in the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights after she has criticized programs designed to help people of color avoid sexual assault and harassment.
  • Proposed cutting Pell Grants, work-study and other programs that make college accessible.
  • Trump’s health care plan includes cuts to pediatric services, including vaccines, eye exams and well-child visits.
  • Is considering eliminating federal guidance to schools to ensure discipline policies don’t discriminate against students of color and students with disabilities.
  • Proposed eliminating 7% of the professional staff at the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, making it harder to ensure equal access to education.
  • Diverted Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division resources to attack affirmative action.
  • Halted the gainful employment rule and borrower defense rule that protect students and taxpayers from fraud at for-profit colleges.
  • Eliminated requirements that would have made it easier for student loan borrowers to receive better student loan servicing and get on track toward repayment.
  • Would slash the budget for the Bureau of Indian Education by $64 million.
  • Trump supported a tax bill that could lead to dramatic funding cuts to historically black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions and tribal colleges.
  • Rolled back Obama-era protections for survivors of sexual assault while signaling that she was more interested in protecting those accused of sexual assault than survivors, particularly through a busy schedule where she spent a lot of time meeting with groups that want to further reduce protections for sexual assault survivors on campuses.
  • She has held or holds financial stake in Performant Recovery, a company that pursues defaulted student loan borrowers, and numerous companies with investments in for-profit colleges. Rather that fighting for students and families, she’s beholden to big-money special interests.

Kenneth Quinnell
Wed, 01/24/2018 – 10:58

Source: AFL-CIO

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