Despite her grievous incompetence and lack of experience, Betsy DeVos was confirmed as Secretary of Education. In that position, she has continued to push for her beloved school vouchers, touting “choice” as the preferred option to “actual services” for children. The proposed budget for her department indicates DeVos is following through on her promise to slash and burn educational programs.
The Washington Post reports that documents showing preliminary budget proposals indicate that there will be a $9.2 billion cut to the department overall, with $500 million directed towards charter schools—50 percent more than current funding. There will also be $250 million dedicated to “Education Innovation and Research Grants,” which study the impact of giving students vouchers to attend private and religious schools, though some of that may be directed to the vouchers themselves.
The good news is that the budget for K-12 education, special education and Title I funds for low-income children would remain unchanged, except a new law now allows states to use Title I money for “school improvement” before distributing it to districts. The administration also wants to devote $1 billion of Title I money to a new grant program called Furthering Options for Children to Unlock Success, but only for districts that allow kids to—you guessed it—choose their school.
All in all, 22 programs will be defunded to support this budget proposal:
The documents obtained by The Post — dated May 23, the day the president’s budget is expected to be released — outline the rest of the cuts, including a $15 million program that provides child care for low-income parents in college; a $27 million arts education program; two programs targeting Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian students, totaling $65 million; two international education and foreign language programs, $72 million; a $12 million program for gifted students; and $12 million for Special Olympics education programs.
Higher education will also be hurt. The budget would drastically affect federal spending, eliminating Perkins loans, which aid lower income students through college, halve the number of work study opportunities, and is moving towards the end of subsidized loans.
Finally, they plan to cut the loan forgiveness program, which was instituted in 2007 as a way to encourage matriculating students to enter careers in public service. Obviously, if you don’t care about the services social workers, public defenders, and doctors provide for the poor, you don’t care about helping them with their student loans.