Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump's Secretary of Education, is working on a budget for our nation's schools that involves quite a few cuts, but a significant increase in the number of voucher-related benefits. The Washington Post has reported that documents outlining her plan indicate the Education Department will be cut by $9.2 billion overall, but with $500 million redirected towards charter schools (50% more than is currently allotted).
$250 million will also be dedicated to “Education Innovation and Research Grants,” which will study the impact of giving students vouchers to private and religious schools (and may fund the vouchers themselves).
The budget for K-12 education, special education, and Title I funds for low-income children would remain unchanged, though states would now be allowed to use Title I money for “school improvement” before distributing it to districts. $1 Billion would be directed to a new grant program called "Furthering Options for Children to Unlock Success," but will be available only to districts which allow kids to choose their school.
To fund these new initiatives and lower the budget, 22 programs will be defunded.
The documents obtained by The Post — dated May 23, the day the president’s budget is expected to be released — outline the rest of the cuts, including a $15 million program that provides child care for low-income parents in college; a $27 million arts education program; two programs targeting Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian students, totaling $65 million; two international education and foreign language programs, $72 million; a $12 million program for gifted students; and $12 million for Special Olympics education programs.
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