While we have been fighting anti-public-school proposals in the Texas Legislature, there’s mischief afoot in the nation’s capital that demands our attention as well. President Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have proposed an education budget that makes it clear they are out to get public education. In their quest to disinvest in public services and destabilize our public schools, they have proposed to slash vital investments, which would increase class sizes, cut professional development, and reduce support for educators to zero.
The Trump and DeVos agenda takes a meat cleaver to public education and directs funds to vouchers, private schools, and charter schools at the expense of public school students across the country. What Trump and DeVos don’t seem to understand is that, regardless of how people voted in the election, people love their neighborhood public schools and want to see them supported.
In 2015, in a remarkably bipartisan reauthorization process, Congress enacted the Every Student Succeeds Act. Title II of ESSA is a direct investment in teachers, paraprofessionals, principals, school staff, and the students they serve, and the consequences of eliminating Title II funding would be disastrous: Class sizes would balloon in the poorest and most overcrowded classrooms with the students who most need individual attention, and educators would lose access to professional development and support throughout their careers. Further, any cuts to this program would leave states unable to implement ESSA and effectively meet the needs of the students and communities they serve.
We can’t let this happen. Write your members of Congress today and urge them to fully fund Title II and implement the bipartisan education law, to ensure every student has access to a high-quality public education regardless of ZIP code.