Betsy DeVos plans to slash public education funding, eliminate college loan forgiveness

As was predicted to be the case when Betsy DeVos was tapped for the job of secretary of education, the perspective of an outsider would mean that a number of formerly sacred cows would become eligible for the chopping block.

The Trump administration and DeVos are expected to characterize these spending cuts as an effort to take the federal government out of the education process. Public schools would lose "hundreds of millions" of dollars in funding for mental health and advanced coursework programs. For example, it would eliminate over $700 million in Perkins Loans for disadvantaged students.

The $10.6 billion in cuts outlined in the budget would come from eliminating at least 22 programs and cutting others, while increasing funding for charter and private schools.

Noelle Ellerson Ng, associate executive director of AASA, the School Superintendents Association, told Education Week that Congress rejected the idea of allowing Title I funds to follow students to the school of their choice when lawmakers passed the Every Student Succeeds Act in 2015.

"More than 3.5 million children are now benefiting from charters and private choice programs, while millions more are demanding access to these same options", Tommy Schultz said in a statement.

As the budget makes brutal cuts to public education spending, it allocates $500 million for charter schools-this represents an increase of 50 percent over the current charter school spending by the federal government. She does not have an education degree, and she has never been a teacher. When it comes to education, those are the swamp critters to watch out for, and budget time is when they're most risky.

"The Trump administration's reported education budget is an abomination", Booker said in a statement sent to PoliticusuSA.

Earlier this year, an alarming report was released by a conservative Christian group with ties to DeVos that advocated for the promotion of Christianity in public schools and putting an end to the Department of Education.

Though Trump and DeVos are proponents of local control, their proposal to use federal dollars to entice districts to adopt school-choice policies is reminiscent of the way the Obama administration offered federal money to states that agreed to adopt its preferred education policies through a program called Race to the Top.

In short, the new education budget would decimate public education, while providing big dollars for private religious schools.

DeVos was previously the chair of the American Federation for Children before being nominated as Secretary of Education. In such a way, Title I money, along with other school funds, will migrate into wealthier districts at the expense of the districts for which the program was designed.

  • Zachary Reyes