Donald Trump is the President of the United States. On the campaign trail leading up to the 2016 election, Trump made a series of negative statements about public education, which he called a “government-run education monopoly,” and was clear that his preference was privatized school choice. He chose Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, who has dedicated both her work and fortune to promoting charter schools and vouchers.
Trump visited a for-profit Cleveland, Ohio charter school to unveil his education plan. He proposed $20 billion in block grants to states that would allow students to attend the school of their choice – private, charter, magnet or public.
It was also during this visit that Trump stated, “As president, I will establish the national goal of providing school choice to every American child living in poverty. If we can put a man on the moon, dig out the Panama Canal and win two world wars, then I have no doubt that we as a nation can provide school choice to every disadvantaged child in America.”
In Trump’s book The America We Deserve he talks about the use of vouchers and claims that “a competitive system” will benefit all kids.
In an attempt to appeal to African American voters candidate Trump said school choice is “the new civil rights issue of our time” at a rally in Roanoke, Va.
The National Coalition for Public Education is compiling Trump’s attempts to support vouchers, or “Education Freedom Scholarships” as he and DeVos refer to them, through the federal budget.
DeVos was infamously ignorant of the differences between “proficiency vs. growth” when she was questioned by then Senator Al Franken at her confirmation hearings.
The administration, represented by Secretary DeVos has not deviated from the federal mandate that students must be tested every year in grades 3-8.
When Trump announced Mike Pence as his choice for VP, he referenced Pence’s preference for school choice as Governor of Indiana.
“Indiana has just about the largest school choice program in America. School choice it where it’s at folks if you want to get your schools better,” Trump said during his introduction of Pence.
Trump appointed school choice advocate Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. DeVos has a long history of support for vouchers and charters in her home state of Michigan and on the national level as the former chairwoman for the American Federation for Children.
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