Mar 29, 2017


Trump’s budget threatens quality education for all

The administration’s proposed cuts would adversely affect disadvantaged students

The Trump administration recently released its budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The budget outlines $200 million in cuts for educational aid programs which support the progress of low-income, first-generation and disabled students. The implementation of these cuts would adversely affect public school students both locally and across the nation.

The budget blueprint includes a $9-billion cut for the U.S. Department of Education overall as well as a 32 percent reduction to the grant program “Gear Up,” which provides up to seven years of support for tutoring, mentoring, scholarships and other services to low-income students and families. The program follows students from middle-school through high-school graduation and, sometimes, into their first year of college. Program counselors improve the chances of a student even attending college, primarily by making parents understand the benefits of college and how to apply for financial aid. Programs like this one have consistently shown results in the past. In 2014, approximately 77 percent of “Gear Up” participants enrolled in a postsecondary institution after high school, compared with 45.5 percent of low-income students overall.

The budget also presents cuts in Federal Work-Study and the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, a grant for low-income students which would be completely eliminated. Moreover, funding for work-study would be cut significantly. A variety of job-training programs for seniors and disadvantaged youth are also threatened by the budget’s approval.

The proposed cuts are concerning, especially at a time when growing numbers of college students can’t afford food or housing. Cutting programs which support America’s future workforce is inconsistent with the president’s commitment to creating jobs. If we have growing numbers of students with out-of-classroom needs and we want an educated workforce, the Trump administration should support these programs, not cut them.

Published March 20, 2017 in Lead Editorials, Weekly, Opinion

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