In her latest column appearing in the New York Times, AFT President Randi Weingarten writes about Donald Trump's education policies amd how they would devastate our public education system. The Republican presidential candidate wants to spend $20 billion to "voucherize" public education, Weingarten writes, which would come at the expense of Title I and other vital programs.
"It appears that Trump would cut all Title I funding for low-income students and an additional $5 billion in federal education funding," she notes. "The Title I cuts alone could strip funding from up to 56,000 public schools serving more than 21 million children. His plan would rob 5 million public school students with disabilities of essential services. An additional 5 million English language learners would be denied educational supports. Eight million students would lose the Pell grants that make it possible to attend college."
Trump's plan, which also calls for expanding charter schools, goes against decades of research showing that voucher programs simply don't work. "Donald Trump doesn't understand or value the role of public education in a democracy," Weingarten writes. "Our public schools are open to all, they advance our individual and collective aspirations, and they unite people from an array of backgrounds in a common experience. Schemes that elevate markets, profits and privatization over our children's needs and the public good not only have failed but are an affront to our democratic principles."