The U.S. Department of Education faces a 13.5 percent cut ($9.2 billion) under the Trump administration federal budget blueprint released today, a plan that also boosts charters and vouchers and calls for certain federal funds targeted to aid the education of low-income students to follow children who move from one public school to another.
The Washington Post reports that the so-called “skinny budget” plan would downsize or eliminate a raft of grant programs, including grants for teacher training and after-school and summer programs, among others. The cuts, among the steepest the agency has ever sustained, would be coupled with a historic investment — $1.4 billion — in charter schools, private schools and other school-choice initiatives. Continue reading Trump Administration Budget Plan Slashes Education Department, Boosts Charters and Vouchers
On Thursday (March 9), the U.S. Senate by a vote of 50-49 approved a resolution (H.J.Res. 57) to invoke its authority under the federal Regulatory Control Act to repeal the Accountability and State Plan regulations promulgated last November by the Obama Administration under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). (The Regulatory Control Act allows congressional disapproval of previously promulgated federal regulations under certain conditions.)
Earlier, the U.S. House of Representatives had approved the measure 234 – 190 on Tuesday (March 7). The measure heads to the White House, where President Trump is expected to approve it, effectively repealing the regulations issued under the former Administration.
Continue reading Congress, President to Repeal Obama-era Accountability Regulations
Federal Enforcement Actions: The joint decision by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education to withdraw and rescind past guidance on transgendered students means those departments will not be independently pursuing enforcement actions against schools and/or threatening the loss of federal funds based on a school district’s alleged failure to implement each and every aspect of the former guidelines.
As a practical matter, enforcement of the rescinded guidance has been on hold since last August when a federal district court in Texas issued a nationwide injunction blocking enforcement. (See previous post.) The Wisconsin Department of Justice was one of several state departments that joined a federal lawsuit challenging the guidance that resulted in the issuance of that injunction. (See previous post.) Given the latest action from the new Trump administration, that lawsuit is “essentially moot,” according to a state DOJ spokesman. Continue reading Where Does The Feds’ Withdrawal of Transgender Guidance Leave School Districts?
The U.S. Departments of Justice and Education have withdrawn and rescinded written policy and guidance statements related to transgender students that had been issued by the Departments in 2015 and 2016, including the “Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students” issued last May, in order to “further and more completely consider the legal issues involved.” The Departments will no longer rely on the views expressed in those documents.
The now-withdrawn statements had taken the position that Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Title IX’s implementing regulations, which expressly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, require school districts to provide students with access to sex-segregated facilities (such as restrooms and locker rooms) on the basis of gender identity.
Continue reading Feds Withdraw and Rescind Policy Guidance on Transgender Students
On Tuesday, Jan. 17 the U.S. Senate Health, Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee will begin proceedings to confirm President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for the position of Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos.
Ms. DeVos is known for her involvement in several education reform organizations that support or promote privatization efforts, including private school vouchers. Those organizations include the American Federation for Children (AFC), the Education Freedom Fund, and the Foundation for Excellence in Education, to name a few. Continue reading Confirmation Hearing Set for U.S. Education Secretary Nominee Betsy DeVos for Jan. 17
From The Detroit News:
President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday said he intends to appoint West Michigan GOP mega donor and philanthropist Betsy DeVos to be his education secretary, putting an ardent supporter of school choice in charge of the nation’s education policy.
DeVos, 58, is seen as a national leader in the school choice movement, which she has called an attempt to “empower” parents to find good schools for their children, whether they be traditional public schools in other neighborhoods, charter schools, virtual schools or private institutions. Continue reading Trump Selects Voucher Activist Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary