RubaHamedEnglish1101Dec5, 2017 EssayIV “Education is the foundation upon whichwe build our future” (Christine Gregoire).
Education is what has been shapingthe children of every generation. Its importance is something that cannot andshould not be ignored. Donald Trump and Secretary of Education Betsy Devos havedefinitely been giving education a lot of attention. This past March DonaldTrump released his administrations first full budget, and all hope for more improvementin the education department is lost. Here’s the nightmare that this Nationseducation has in store. There will be incredibly deep cuts for all, from kindergarten to highereducation. The $9.2 billion cut represents a 13.
5 percent drop from the USDepartment of Education’s budget $68.2 billion. These cuts remove the funding thatgoes to many long-standing programs and federal government supports that aid childrenand youth from low-income households.
At the same time, more money would beprovided to “alternatives” to traditional public schools at the k-12 level. In doingthis many children and youth coming from low income families would not be ableto afford an education. These cuts are also going to increase the cost ofstudent loans, loans that student are already struggling to pay. In addition to eliminating funding toteachers and after school programs the budget intends to dismantle 20 other criticalprograms. These programs include but are not limited to, arts; foreignlanguage; science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); literacy; historyand civics; gifted programs; mental health; bullying prevention; and enrichmentprograms.
Trump will also cut $12 million in funding for Special Olympics, not morethan a year after mocking a disabled reporter on the campaign trail. Trump and Devos have been very clearabout their priorities, and the administration is adamant on channeling part oftheir savings to their top priority, school choice. It plans to spend about $400million to expand charter schools, market strategies and vouchers to privateand religious schools. Multiple studies confirm that these strategies have hurtkids.
Recent studies of voucher programs in Ohio and Washington D.C., show thatstudents in these programs did worse than kids in traditional public schools. Privatevoucher schools take money from neighborhood public schools, lack theaccountability that public schools have, fail to protect kids fromdiscrimination and increase segregation.
It’s incredibly dangerous when facts likethese aren’t taken into account when it comes to education. Schools are meantto be safe places for children, they’re meant to be welcoming and comfortablefor students. This is believed by parents who send their children to voucherschools and parents who send their kids to public schools. Unfortunately, bothDevos and Trump emasculate the rights of kids who look and feel different,especially by cutting funding for school health and safety programs. What is being done by Devos and Trumpstands as the complete opposite of the bipartisan consensus the US reached in2015 when Congress passed an education law that shifted the focus from testingto teaching, pushed decision making back into states and communities andinvested funds into the schools that needed it most. It gave us the opportunityto finally focus on what is known to be most beneficial for students, promotingthe well-being of the children, engaging in powerful learning, building largercapacities of teachers and fostering cultures of teamwork and cooperation. Not onlydoes the Trump agenda jeopardize their work, their view on education as acommodity rather than a public good threaten the foundation of democracy andthe peoples’ responsibility to provide opportunity to all of Americas people. The deep connection Americans have topublic schools and how strongly they believe in them isn’t hard to notice.
It canbe seen in the way parents, teachers, students, and communities talk aboutpublic schools and what they want for public schools. This surpassed politicsand has a greater impact. It’s the reason why we saw such a massive response tothe nomination of Devos in all corners of the country. People love, value and invest in theirpublic schools. From strong early childhood programs to robust robotics andother activities that involve kids in powerful learning, to a community schoolthat guides kids who are at risk of dropping out on a path to graduation leadingthem to a life of success. People value the public schools that provide a full-servicecommunity health clinic, in-school social workers, a food pantry, parentresource center, and so many more services for parents and kids. The publicschools that kids participate in after school programs, where there is a libraryin every classroom and a reading room where students can build and improve intheir literary skills.
The great things happening in these school are allfunded by federal dollars and under the Trump/ Devos budget they will cease toexist. Those who voted for Trump did so because they believed that he wouldprovide them with the best and keep his promise to stand up for working people andcreate more jobs. They didn’t vote for the dismantling of public education andthe promise and potential that it offers their children. Education is a rightthat belongs to every individual of every race, religion, class etc.
and society’smain goal should be to continue improving education and making it moreaccessible to those who are less fortunate. Hopefully, with the well-being ofall American people in mind, a new education plan will be introduced that doesn’tthrow vulnerable student under the bus, and will benefit everyone.