Donald Trump campaigned, won the 2016 election, and eventually became sworn in as president despite saying close to nothing about education during his bid for the White House.
As a matter of fact, Trump said less on the campaign trail about education than any other presidential candidate in recent history, according to a Monday (January 23rd) news article published online by Education Week Magazine. However, Trump did unveil a $20 billion dollar school voucher program last September during a campaign speech.
Critics have still been very skeptical about Trump’s vision for public education because of his appointment of Betsy DeVos as the new U.S. Department of Education secretary. DeVos is a billionaire private school magnate who has absolutely no experience in the public sector as a school administrator or education policy director.
DeVos’ lack of experience in the public sector has many K-12 public education advocates worried about how the new Trump administration will handle issues concerning funding for the nation’s many local school districts. Education Week’s recent news article addressed these concerns and covered several key areas of focus, which American parents of children enrolled in public schools should really pay attention to in the near future.
One area of focus is the federal government’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This bi-partisan law was passed in 2015 and has served as a replacement of the George W. Bush administration’s No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. ESSA is scheduled to be replaced or kept in effect for the upcoming 2017-18 academic school year.
The Trump Administration will also have to deal with this issue and approve how states will be accountable in their own education policies if a new federal law is passed or if the previous law is reinstated. In addition to ESSA and other concerns about education policy, another big issue of concern addressed by Education Week was funding.
“Trump is planning to immediately make good on his campaign promise to get rid of the Education Department, or at least cut it ‘way, way down,'” wrote Alyson Klein, a reporter for Education Week.
Public education and how it will be funded under the Trump Administration remains as the “elephant in the room.” However, sending children to public schools to be educated is not the only option that parents have in today’s world of independent school choice.