President Donald Trump unveiled the budget proposal 2018 calling it “A New Foundation for American Greatness.” The proposal seeks to achieve faster economic growth and debt reduction.
However, only $59 billion of that budget has been slated for education and compared to last year, the proposal has a $9.2 billion cut. The Education Department budget also eliminates or reduces more than 30 programs that were deemed to beduplicative or ineffective.
Under the plan, programs such as 21st Century Community Learning Centers program (CCLC) will be slashed. CCLC serves 2
million children at 11,500 centers nationwide and provides afterschool academic enrichment for students in high-poverty communities. At these centers, in order to improve their math and English abilities, children also get additional help. They also learn how to enhance class participation skills and improve classroom behavior.
Furthermore, programs like Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program (CCAMPIS) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy Program (IAL), will also be eliminated. Both these programs predominantly serve low-income families.
The budget will also affect K-12 programs such as Title II grants for teacher and principal training and programs designed to help lower-income students transition to college.
The budget also proposes several reallocations. These reallocations will be directed toward expanding low-performing charter schools, extending vouchers for private and religious schools and supporting public schools to adopt choice-friendly policies.
The proposal is further likely to increase the gap between children from low- and middle-income families. According to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, her proposed policy provides all families with the choice to select charter or private schools. However, the truth is, low-income families don’t have the same opportunities and liberty as upper-class families have.
The support of school choice that is initiated in the budget, is typically utilized by more affluent families, therefore, it is likely that the gap for struggling-low income students will widen.