What Trump’s Presidency Might Mean for Students
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Following the election of Republican nominee Donald J. Trump as the President of the United States, all of America is on the edge of their seats to see what exactly the next four years entails.
This election not only affects the lives of the voting population, but also the youth of America. The topic that directly involves the American youth is education. Both candidates voiced their plans on their campaign trails, and now it is President-Elect Trump’s program that is the fate of American education system.
Academic environments have already started to show the effects of Mr. Trump’s election. An online survey administered by Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance to K–12 educators nationwide states that ninety percent of educators report that school atmosphere has been negatively affected, with new expressions of bullying and hate incidents towards immigrants, Muslims, African Americans and LGBT students.
The main policy of Mr. Trump’s education program is Student Choice. According to the Trump campaign website, this project would direct $20 billion in federal grants, from existing federal spending, for poor children to attend a school of their family’s choice. This program is good in theory, but critics claim that it is favoring private and charter schools over public schools. In an interview with the New York Times, Mr. Trump even stated that, “Distribution of this grant will favor states that have private school choice and charter laws.” Therefore, Trump is further dividing the educational status of America. To implement Student Choice, Mr. Trump plans to give block grants to states instead of sending the federal grant to the schools. This change in policy would give states the power of choosing whether to let the money follow students to their choice school rather than assuring that the schools receive the granted money. Critics also oppose routing taxpayer money to private religious schools and schools run for profit because these schools run unregulated and unaccounted for.
Additionally, Mr. Trump aims to abolish the United States Education Department and abandon the Common Core curriculum. Contradictory to presidential opponent Hillary Clinton, Mr. Trump is promoting the localization of education. He sees no importance in national education standards, such as Common Core, which is a set of clear college- and career-ready educational standards for kindergarten through 12th grade. However, without the federal involvement in education, there would be not federal scholarships. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, under the previous education program, every student planning on attending a four year college, who receive Title IV aid, average $10,000 in federal scholarships.
The President-elect appointed Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary. She will happily follow Mr. Trump’s education plan of school choice because in 2010, she and her husband opened up their own charter school in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
In the next four years, American education is going to see a great shift in policy, so, as students, we are about to encounter a very different country. As the future of the United States, it is our duty that these changes are truly for the good of those that it directly affects and speak up if the plans prove otherwise.