Donald Trump’s campaign promise to pull billions of federal dollars out of public schools to pay for private vouchers would undermine the education of more than 700,000 New York students, according to an analysis by the United Federation of Teachers.
The UFT found that students at 1,200 schools across New York City would face larger class sizes, have fewer teachers and lose after-school academic and enrichment programs if Trump were to divest Title 1, legislation designed specifically to aid poor pupils. (Click here for a list of the schools currently funded through Title 1).
“Congressional hearings are scheduled for this week for Betsy DeVos, the administration’s nominee for U.S. Secretary of Education. We need to hear in detail from Ms. DeVos — a fervent advocate of vouchers and charter schools — what the administration’s plan is for Title 1, which is specifically designed to aid poor pupils and which New York City relies on to help serve our neediest students,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew stated in a news release.
The Trump campaign had gone on record supporting voucher programs but did not indicate a plan for funding; but because Congressional Republicans had previously proposed a change in federal law to allow states to use Title 1 funds for new purposes, defenders are concerned.
“If the school system had to make up a $500 million loss of Title 1 funds — money that helps defray the costs of teachers, guidance counselors, aides and administrators — more than these schools would suffer,” Mulgrew asserted.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence has strongly backed Indiana’s voucher program which proved to be an economic windfall for the primarily white charter schools.