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Trump’s Education Budget Is Innovative: It May Finally Bring Accountability To Public School Performance.

ArmchairPoliticianEducation, June 15, 2017, by Brad Peery, WWW.ArmchairPolitician.US,

The President’s 2018 Budget provides $59 of funding, which is down $9 billion, or 13%. The Budget emphasizes school choice, with this sector being up $ 1.4 billion to $20 billion. There is a $168 billion increase for charter schools, $250 for a new private school choice program, and a $1 billion increase for Title I that allows Federal, State and local funding for open enrollment programs to allow students to go to the public school of their choice. Special education programs for special educations needs, and student disabilities is maintained at $13 billion. A $2.4 billion instruction program has been determined to be ineffective and has been eliminated. Also eliminated is a $1.2 billion learning center program that also supports before and after school, and summer programs because it was determined to meet its’ objectives, including improving academic achievement. Retained is the Pell Grant program in an equal amount, but eliminated is the Supplemental Educational Opportunity program in the amount of $732 million in fiscal 2017.
Other Budget changes are:
• Reduces Federal Work-Study significantly and reforms the poorly-targeted allocation to ensure funds go to undergraduate students who would benefit most.
• Provides $808 million for the Federal TRIO Programs and $219 million for GEAR UP, resulting in savings of $193 million from the 2017 annualized CR level. Funding to TRIO programs is reduced in areas that have limited evidence on the overall effectiveness in improving student outcomes. The Budget funds GEAR UP continuation awards only, pending the completion of an upcoming rigorous evaluation of a portion of the program.
• Eliminates or reduces over 20 categorical programs that do not address national needs, duplicate other programs, or are more appropriately supported with State, local, or private funds, including Striving Readers, Teacher Quality Partnership, Impact Aid Support Payments for Federal Property, and International Education programs.

Although is is widely assumed that the Trump education program is targeted at supporting charter schools, the increased funding for student public school choice is six times the charter school increase. The budget also included $250 million for a private school choice program, which in addition to a forthcoming tax credit scholarship proposal.

Betsy DeVos, the Education Department Secretary said “there is no one delivery mechanism of education choice: Open enrollment, tax credits, home schools, magnets, charters, virtual schools, education savings accounts and choices not yet developed all have their place.”

An issue with regard to all of these programs is how to hold the schools and programs accountable for student outcomes.

A controversial part of the Trump program is the proposed elimination of two Obama regulations on for-profit colleges. The first one involves ending a regulation that allowed students to claim they were defrauded by a public for-profit school. There are 16,000 such claims pending that will be decided, but no more will be allowed.

The second regulation, which is already in effect, is known as gainful employment. It aims to hold schools accountable for outcomes of students by requiring schools to prove that their graduates’ incomes compared to their debts will allow them to pay back their student loans. Programs that don’t meet that standard are barred from accessing federal funds.

ArmchairPolitician.US Opinion:
Although the Trump education program needs to be addressed by Congress, it is focused on giving parents choices for their children. Since there is no preferred method of delivering schooling, there could be many benefits. Giving choice as to which public school a student might attend, this will introduce competition among public schools, which will be good for the students, and disruptive for the poor teachers and public school administrators. Supporting charter schools as an alternative to public schools is also good for the same reason. Other innovations, including home schooling, and online education can add to the options parents might choose for their children.

The above discussion provides a basis to asses the Trump education program as it evolves.
ArmchairPoliticianEducation, March 31, 2017, by Brad Peery, ArmchairPolitician.US
Education Objectives of Trump Administration: Educational Choice

5 comments to Trump’s Education Budget Is Innovative: It May Finally Bring Accountability To Public School Performance.

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