Press Release

AFT President Weingarten: Trump-DeVos Budget Poses Lethal Threat to Public Education

For Release: 

Monday, February 12, 2018


Marcus Mrowka
202-531-0689 (cell)

WASHINGTON—Statement of AFT President Randi Weingarten in response to President Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ education budget:

“President Trump and Secretary DeVos’ budget poses a lethal threat to public education.

“Trump and DeVos gave trillions in tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations, and, in this budget, they are taking billions from kids and public schools—particularly from those kids and schools in communities whose majorities are nonwhite or poor. Far from the softer image DeVos is trying to promote, this is a budget from an administration that is trying to set up public schools to fail.

“By putting forth a budget that includes the same cruel cuts as last year, Trump, DeVos and Vice President Pence show that they have failed to learn anything. This budget:

  • Eliminates funding for community schools, lower class sizes, and after-school and summer programs;
  • Strips professional development and training resources for teachers and paraprofessionals;
  • Makes a mockery of Trump’s rhetoric calling for more career and technical education programs;
  • Eviscerates programs that make college more affordable, including the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program that enables and encourages thousands to enter into teaching and public service jobs; and
  • Promotes failed voucher and for-profit strategies that aim to turn public education into an unregulated market.

“Just like DeVos locked us out last week, and with us, the 80,000 people who sent her comments we tried to deliver, Trump and DeVos don’t want to listen to what parents, teachers and communities want for their kids and schools.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.