May 14, 2017
Tell Congress to protect public education
The Trump/DeVos FY2018 education budget proposal will cut $10.6 billion from federal education initiatives, according to The Washington Post. In addition to diverting over $1 billion from existing programs to K-12 voucher-type schemes, the proposal slashes funding for afterschool programs, class size reduction, professional development, Pell grants, career and technical education, and much more. In addition, loan forgiveness for public service would end, which could discourage students from becoming educators. “The priorities President Trump outlined in his budget are reckless and wrong for students and working families,” said NEA president Lily Eskelsen García. “If enacted, the Trump budget will crush the dreams of students, deprive millions of opportunities, and make it harder for students to access higher education.” Click on the take action button and tell Congress to focus on investing in — and improving — the public schools where 9 out of 10 students get their education.
Tell Congress to oppose private school vouchers
May 18 was Betsy DeVos’ 100th day as education secretary, an unfortunate milestone marked by the education community’s call to action on the devastating Trump/DeVos FY2018 education budget proposal. If approved, it would divert more than $1 billion from existing programs to vouchers. Tomorrow, DeVos is expected to unveil a broad tax credit voucher plan that would drain billions of additional dollars from public schools. And then, later this week, DeVos is scheduled to testify before the House Appropriations Committee. Click on the take action button and tell Congress NOT to take money from public schools and give it to private schools.
Support H.R. 2353 to strengthen career and technical education
The House Education and the Workforce Committee passed the NEA-supported Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353) by voice vote on May 17. The bill reflects NEA’s priorities in key areas: strengthening professional development, especially as it relates to serving under-represented students, like English-language learners, and special needs students; involving educators in decision-making and planning; and addressing skills gaps by aligning career and technical education (CTE) programs with in-demand industries and giving programs flexibility to address local labor markets. The committee’s action reflects the long, bipartisan tradition of support for CTE programs, which boast a high school graduation rate of 93 percent—10 points higher than the overall graduation rate of 83 percent. Tell your representative to support H.R. 2353.
Cheers and Jeers
Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), and Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) for publicizing the draconian cuts in Medicaid funding for schools made by the GOP’s American Health Care Act
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, for urging the Senate Budget Committee to reach a bipartisan agreement on FY2018 spending that maintains parity between defense and non-defense discretionary programs, averts the devastating consequences of sequestration, and does NOT make new cuts proposed by the Trump administration
House Budget Committee ranking member John Yarmuth (D-KY), House Appropriations Committee ranking member Nita Lowey (D-NY), House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), and Representatives Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Derek Kilmer (D-WA) for calling on Republicans to raise the FY2018 budget caps
Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) for reintroducing the POST GRAD Act, which makes graduate students eligible for federal Direct Subsidized Loans
Representatives Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Illena Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), John Duncan (R-TN), and Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA) for sponsoring the Perkins Loan Extension Act, which extends the Perkins loan program for two years
Representatives Glenn Thompson (R-PA) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) for leading the bipartisan effort to strengthen career and technical education
Trump/DeVos 2018 education budget proposal for the disastrous effects it would have on students at all levels — pre-K through post-graduate