Trump is No Friend to Public Ed
August 24, 2020
Let’s be clear: Donald Trump has been no friend to public education—including public school choice—and he certainly has not been an advocate for racial justice.
Trump and DeVos have long supported the privatization of schooling, rather than making an investment in public education.
As DFER Vice President of K-12 Education Charles Barone has previously detailed—there’s mounting evidence for Trump and DeVos’ interest in private over public education. Instead of bringing quality education to Detroit, Charles notes that, “DeVos supported a charter school sector based on private, for-profit, fly-by-night operators that was an out-and-out disaster for Motor City students and parents and bore little resemblance to the high-performing, non-profit public charter school sectors in places like Boston, Newark, Washington, D.C., and Denver. These differences were cited by an under-recognized group of Democratic Senators during the fight over DeVos’ nomination.”
Trump’s definition of school choice completely misinterprets and upends the legacy of Barack Obama’s public school choice principles, which, unlike Trump’s, actually listened to the wishes of 81% of Democratic voters—and particularly Black and Latino voters—who support expanded access to more public school choices that specifically include public charter schools.
The public school choice long supported by Democrats is rooted in equity—expanding high quality choice options within the public school system so families who could not afford alternatives to their traditional public school could access a school of their choice.
Unlike Trump, we at DFER strongly believe that no federal funding should go to for-profit charter schools, and we likewise believe all public schools, including public charters, should be held to the same accountability and transparency standards.
As DFER National President Shavar Jeffries told The Washington Post, “ The last four years, he’s made clear his policies are not aligned with racial justice, racial equity. I’d be shocked if any meaningful number of black folk vote for him.’”
What exactly has Trump done in the last four years? Taken every opportunity to rollback civil rights, limited protections for historically underserved students and attempted to cut funding to public education.
Our children can’t afford four more years of Donald Trump.
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