Michigan would lose more than $150 million in education funding under the Trump administration’s budget plan unveiled last week, which would slash federal investment in public education programs by a whopping 13.5 percent for the upcoming fiscal year.
The budget calls for $9 billion in cuts to the U.S. Department of Education, which would roll back funding to pre-2002 levels even though public preK-12 and postsecondary enrollment has increased by 8.6 million students since 2001.
The spending plan would eliminate three programs to states that provide education funding to help in recruiting, hiring, training, supporting, and retaining highly effective teachers; provide after-school programs; and offer grant assistance to low-income students pursuing post-secondary education.
“The priorities Donald Trump outlined in his budget are reckless and wrong for students and families,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “If enacted, the Trump budget will crush the dreams of students and deprive millions of opportunities.”
School district superintendents from across Michigan were joined by officials at the Michigan Department of Education and other school organizations in decrying the devastating effects that such draconian cuts would have on schools and students.
Colin Ripmaster, associate executive director of the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals, told MLive he’s hopeful lawmakers will work to reverse Trump’s proposed education cuts.
“Public education is one of the greatest engines of economic development and any cut to public education will be harmful to our economic future,” Ripmaster said.
Meanwhile, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos cheered the proposed budget for its $2.4 billion increase in spending on school choice programs that promote vouchers for private schools and for-profit charter schools.
The scheme to take taxpayer dollars from public schools to fund private school vouchers is misguided and would harm our students, Eskelsen García said.
“Vouchers do not work, they undermine accountability to parents and taxpayers, and they have failed to provide opportunity to all of our students,” she said. “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.
“Regardless, educators will continue to stand up for all students and for the promise of public education,” she added. “And we expect most members of Congress will agree.”
Learn more about Trump’s budget proposal.