Commentary—NEA President Lily Eskelsen García today released the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s proposed budget, which would slash the federal investment in public education programs by a whopping 13.5 percent for the upcoming fiscal year.
“The priorities Donald Trump outlined in his budget are reckless and wrong for students and families. If enacted, the Trump budget will crush the dreams of students and deprive millions of opportunities.
“Educators believe a great public education is critical to ensuring student opportunity and success. Sadly, the Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos scheme to take taxpayer dollars from public schools to fund private school vouchers is misguided and would harm our students. Vouchers do not work, they undermine accountability to parents and taxpayers, and they have failed to provide opportunity to all of our students.
“More to the point, the Trump-DeVos budget would take an ax to important education programs for students, including eliminating after-school programs, and other student enrichment programs. In real life, these cuts mean students are robbed of the tools and supports they need to get ahead.
“Trump’s budget also undermines our core values by depleting public education while wasting taxpayer money to implement his discriminatory and hateful anti-immigrant agenda.
“America and our students deserve better. The purpose of investing in public education is to help level the playing field so that children in every ZIP code receive an adequate and equitable education. Regardless, educators will continue to stand up for all students and for the promise of public education. And we expect most members of Congress will agree.”