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NEA President: Trump-DeVos budget is a wrecking ball aimed at public schools

Vouchers deny students the opportunities they deserve in their neighborhood public schools

WASHINGTON - May 23, 2017 -

President Donald Trump today released his budget request for fiscal year 2018. NEA President Lily Eskelsen García today released the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s proposed budget.

“The Trump-DeVos budget is a wrecking ball aimed at our nation’s public schools. Their budget shows how dangerously ill-informed they are about what works for students and in public education. Their reckless and irresponsible budget would smash the aspirations of students, crush their dreams, and make it difficult for them to go to college and get ahead.

“We should invest in what makes schools great, the things that build curiosity and instill a love of learning. That is what every student deserves and what every parent wants for his or her child. It should not depend on how much their parents make, what language they speak at home, and certainly, not what neighborhood they live in.”

“Even worse, DeVos and Trump have made failed private school vouchers a cornerstone of their budget. Vouchers do not work and they take scarce funding away from public schools—where 90 percent of America’s students enroll—and give it to private schools that are unaccountable to the public. Spending money on voucher programs means denying students the opportunities they deserve in their neighborhood public schools.

“With this budget, Trump and DeVos want to slash billions of dollars from public education, but it's more than education programs. These deep cuts will harm students and will have a direct impact in the classroom, but these cuts will also reach far beyond the schoolhouse doors. These budget cuts will hurt every working family in America. And that's why we have to call on Congress to reject the Trump budget.”

“At the end of the day, the students and families most in need will pay the price because of the draconian cuts the Trump administration is proposing. The Trump-DeVos budget would slash the federal investment in public education programs by a whopping 13.6 percent for the upcoming fiscal year, eliminates at least 22 programs, and cuts $10.6 billion from federal education initiatives overall. This means deep and painful cuts to funding for after school programs, elimination of funding for professional development and class size reduction, elimination of public loan forgiveness programs meant to encourage students to go into teaching and public service. They also propose cuts to Medicaid, Meals on Wheels, and to services whose aim is to provide a safety net and protect children and working families.

For detailed information about how the proposed budget affects students and public education by state and by program, please click on these two links.

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers. Learn more at

CONTACT: Miguel A. Gonzalez  202-822-7823,