Putting less regulations and requirements on the states and expanding school choice is in the forefront of our U.S. Secretary of Education’s mind, but there is more to DeVos’ idea than meets the eye. U.S. News & World Report education reporter Lauren Camera shares all angles of school choice, including vouchers and where Trump’s twenty billion dollars of federal education spending are going.
Vouchers are government funding for students to attend a school of their choice. The idea of vouchers seems beneficial, but voucher policies have been rejected on a bipartisan basis. Democrats dislike vouchers because they claim it would bankrupt public schools, since all of the money would be going towards tuition for private school students, leaving public schools with little to use to pay for textbooks, building repairs, and more expenses. Republicans make up most rural areas, where there isn’t much of a choice as to where they attend school because of their isolation. Smaller schools located in rural areas also depend on local tax dollars and government aid to fund their needs, so if a school choice tax credit was implemented, there would be even less money going to these public schools.
Trump says he will direct twenty billion dollars in federal education spending to school choice policies – or in other words, to the poor children in big cities like Detroit. From his statements on education policy thus far, Trump has emphasized the need to assist low-income students that attend poor-performing public schools and provide them with more options. This is where the decision of individuals versus majority really comes into play. If Trump reaches out to these students in large cities, he is only reaching out to 29 percent of public elementary and secondary school students according to the National Association of State Boards of Education. Will the Trump administration gain enough support to pursue vouchers and other programs?