DeVos should re-think support for “devastating”, “concerning” education budget

INDIANAPOLIS – Upon her return to Indiana today, Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody called on Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to rethink her support of President Trump’s education budget, a budget that Indiana’s top education official, Republican Jennifer McCormick, called “devastating”, “concerning” and “not the best course of action”.

“The draconian cuts imposed by the Trump-DeVos education budget would mean more kids packed into classrooms and fewer resources to train and retain teachers,” said Zody. “The Trump-DeVos education budget is so bad, even members of their own Party are speaking out. It’s time Secretary DeVos reconsiders her support.”

The Supporting Effective Instruction grants on Trump and DeVos’ chopping block are used in Indiana schools to reduce class sizes and provide continuous, ongoing training that help teachers prepare to instruct students. The grants are a critical tool in recruiting and training teachers with experience and strong credentials at high-risk schools.

“The Trump-DeVos budget is asking our teachers to do more with less, again,” said Zody. “Indiana already spends less per pupil, after adjusting for inflation, than it did in 2009. Now Trump and DeVos want to siphon even more taxpayer resources out of Indiana classrooms and into for-profit or private schools. It’s the kind of Trump-DeVos “deal” Hoosier students, parents and teachers can’t afford.”

If the Trump-DeVos education budget becomes law, 20,000 Hoosier kids could be out of before and after-school programs currently offered through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program. For thousands of children in Central Indiana, the 21st Century funding means a safe place to go after school, where they get tutoring, mentoring, health and fitness education and a meal — things they might not get regularly at home. The goal is to improve academic outcomes in the short and long term.

“For Trump and DeVos, this isn’t about improving outcomes or giving kids the best shot at success, it’s about pumping taxpayer dollars into for-profit and private schools,” said Zody. “I wish Secretary DeVos would stop by an after-school program on her tour this afternoon or drop into a public teacher’s home this evening for a kitchen table chat. She could learn firsthand just how costly these budget cuts would be for Hoosier students.”

The Trump-DeVos education budget: more crowded classrooms, fewer safe places for high-risk kids and less training for teachers. Hoosier teachers, parents and students can’t afford it.

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