Trump Proposal For Ambitious School-Choice Expansion Unclear

Trump administration unveils first budget with 3.6-trillion-dollar spending cut

Local reaction to President Trump's spending plan

Finally, the budget would cut the loan forgiveness program, instituted in 2007 as a way to encourage students enrolled in colleges or universities to enter careers in public service in exchange for assistance in paying for college.

Today, the Trump Administration released the Fiscal Year 2018 budget, which lays out a series of proposals and priorities created to ensure every student has an equal opportunity to receive a high quality education.

DeVos gave few specifics other than to say that the state of IN could serve as a model. "If the federal dollars flow through something other than state government, say through a nonprofit", students here might get federal funds for private schools.

DEVOS: Well again, I think the - the Office of Civil Rights and our Title IX protections are broadly applicable across the board. "We should be talking about investing more".

Despite almost forty years of effort by the US Department of Education, we remain A Nation at Risk. Like her boss Trump, DeVos tried to hedge and answer with meaningless filler words.

We are not at a point where we can communicate any change in direction. "We worked tirelessly to reverse this senseless bureaucratic decision that jeopardized the education and hopes of hundreds of students in ME who depend on Upward Bound to succeed in higher education", said Senators Collins and King and Representatives Poliquin and Pingree in a joint statement.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos called the budget a "historic investment in America's students", noting that Trump is focused on giving more power back to states.

There was some disagreement about the flow of money.

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When DeVos reiterated her belief in school choice - saying states will set up the rules and allocate fund for their programs - Clark characterized that response as a "no" and pushed DeVos to clarify. What if they said we are not accepting African-American students, but that was okay with the state?

Access to a quality education shouldn't depend on where you live, where you came from or how much money you make. "Maybe the intentions are good, but the actual impact is not meeting those intentions". The U.S. Department of Education plays a critical role in the lives of American children and is responsible for implementing and enforcing laws protecting students from discrimination and improving public education.

"Every option should be held accountable but they should be directly accountable to parents and communities not to Washington, D.C., bureaucrats", DeVos said.

"You are eliminating it, or you're not?" Bruce Poliquin and Chellie Pingree of ME said in a joint statement issued Wednesday.

To which Lee replied: "So you're cutting it!"

Rep. Martha Roby (R. -Ala.) asked if DeVos would promise, as now required by law, not to "coerce" states to change their academic standards. Do you see any circumstance where the federal Department of Education under your leadership would say that a school was not qualified?

However, before we leap into the future that DeVos envisions, we might want to stop for a minute and look to her home state of MI and its experiences there with charter schools. At her confirmation hearing, she proclaimed parents "no longer believe that a one-size-fits-all model of learning meets the needs of every child, and they know other options exist, whether magnet, virtual, charter, home, religious or any combination thereof".

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