What Trump is Doing: Public Education

The only real indication we have for what Donald Trump’s agenda on public education will be is his selection of multi-billionaire Besty DeVos as Education Secretary. 

DeVos has no previous political, or direct education experience, but her family has donated millions to Republican politicians. She’s best known from her work in Michigan pushing for expansions of charter schools, as well as private school voucher programs. In fact, she has no experience whatsoever with public schools, as neither she nor her children attended a public school.

During her senate hearing, DeVos repeatedly demonstrated that she simply isn’t prepared for the job. DeVos was unable to answer basic education policy questions, came out in favor of guns in schools, and dodged questions about public school funding.

With DeVos as a Education Secretary, we’ll see less emphasis on supporting traditional schools, and greater expansion of private and religious voucher programs.

What's Happening in NC

What’s happened in NC over the last few years might very well serve as a blueprint for the Trump administration: starve traditional public schools of resources and massively expand charter and voucher programs.

North Carolina ranks near the bottom for teacher pay and per student investment. Classrooms lack basic supplies and we have thousands of fewer TAs than we did just a few years ago.

Public education is what made our state great. Unfortunately politicians in Raleigh are refusing to prioritize public schools, and siphoning money away from traditional public schools to unaccountable charters and private, religious schools. Some of these private schools, funded with voucher money, ban LGBT students and parents from attending, and enforce other discriminatory policies

And with the explosion of unaccountable charter schools, we’ve also seen serious issues. At Kestrel Heights, a charter school in Durham, 40% of students who received diplomas over the last eight years did not actually earn the credits to graduate.