Keep the Federal Government from Cutting Funds for Public Education

5,057 signatures toward our 30,000 Goal

16.86% Complete

Sponsor: The Literacy Site

Important programs for our children's education are on the chopping block.


Although most Americans agree that something must be done about the federal budget deficit, it's becoming clear that the federal government is not choosing the right places to cut spending.

While the president continues to throw money into projects that are already well-funded or that serve his purposes better than the nation's, public education and other poorly funded programs are taking huge hits. NBC news reports that Betsy DeVos, Trump's pick for Secretary of Education, refused to commit to "not privatizing public schools or cutting money from education" during her confirmation hearing, demonstrating that the Trump administration does not value public education [1].

And the proposed 2018 federal budget only drives the point home more harshly. According to the Center for American Progress, Trump's proposed budget for the coming year would slash the U.S. Department of Education's funding by a whopping 13 percent, or $9 billion. These cuts would "dismantle public schools through massive cuts to teacher training, after-school programs in public schools" [2].

More specifically, the plan would take $2.4 billion from teacher training grants, and $1.2 billion from summer-school and after-school programs. The Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) for low-income undergraduates would be completely eliminated, and other programs that serve struggling students, such as TRIO, and GEAR UP, would be significantly reduced [3].

But the possibilities extend even further than that. According to The Hill, House Republican Thomas Massie of Kentucky also proposed legislation that would eliminate the Department of Education altogether, making "policymakers at the state and local levels [...] responsible for education policy, instead of a federal agency." [4].

The new budget would invest $1.4 billion in private school vouchers and other projects in the privatization vein [2]. This move sends the signal that, "under the Trump administration, federal aid is out and school choice is in" [3].

The public education system has been starved long enough. It is time for the American people to stand up and tell the government to support public education so that all people can have access to the resources they need to thrive.

Sign the petition to tell President Trump, the Office of Management and Budget, and the House and Senate Committees On The Budget that America will not stand for an administration that devalues and defunds public education.

[1] Margolin, E. (2017, January 17). Betsy DeVos, Trump's Pick for Education Secretary, Won't Rule Out Defunding Public Schools. Retrieved May 01, 2017, from http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/betsy-devos-trump-s-pick-education-secretary-won-t-rule-n708171

[2] Stephenie Johnson, Neil Campbell, Kami Spicklemire, and Lisette Partelow. (2017, March 17). The Trump-DeVos Budget Would Dismantle Public Education, Hurting Vulnerable Kids, Working Families, and Teachers. Retrieved May 01, 2017, from https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education/news/2017/03/17/428598/trump-devos-budget-dismantle-public-education-hurting-vulnerable-kids-working-families-teachers/

[3] Bendix, A. (2017, March 16). Trump's Education Budget Revealed. Retrieved May 01, 2017, from https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2017/03/trumps-education-budget-revealed/519837/

[4] Marcos, C. (2017, February 07). GOP lawmaker proposes abolishing Department of Education. Retrieved May 01, 2017, from http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/318310-gop-lawmaker-proposes-abolishing-department-of-education

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The Petition:

Dear President Trump, the Office of Management and Budget, and the House and Senate Committees On The Budget,

America values public education. Every child deserves a quality education, and all families should be able to send their children to a good school, regardless of their financial status.

Cutting funding for summer-school and after-school programs, teacher-training programs, and more is a deplorable move. The proposed 2018 budget would harm low-income students, those with disabilities, and other vulnerable people of our nation, who are perhaps the most deserving of federal funds.

Public education is not funded well enough now, and it doesn't deserve to lose more money. We will not stand for your plan to redirect $9 billion away from the Department of Education and public school programs. It is not okay for education to be privatized so that only certain privileged individuals have access to these valuable resources.

We demand that you stop trying to force these massive cuts to the Department of Education. Leave public school programs in place to continue to do the fantastic work they've been doing for years.

Sincerely,

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Signatures: