On Wednesday, the Department of Education announced that it had begun reviewing whether the Trump administration’s proposed budget would improve students’ educational outcomes and make them less likely to drop out of college.
The new recommendations are meant to improve student achievement and improve outcomes for students who are the most disadvantaged students.
But some educators are concerned about the direction of the recommendations.
“This is a very big deal,” said Mark Luschini, executive director of the National Education Association (NEA), a union of about 50,000 teachers, school administrators, and community members that represents more than 500,000 educators nationwide.
“I think we should be very concerned about it.”
The NEA has previously called for the elimination of Title I—the federal program that provides financial support to public schools to help them meet state standards—because it “encourages schools to be financially dependent on students for education.”
“This budget would eliminate the federal funding for Title I for nearly 1.5 million low-income students in the United States,” said NEA Executive Director Marjorie Cohn-Bendery in a statement.
“Title I is the backbone of our education system.
It provides an incredible opportunity for students to gain access to an excellent education, and it serves as an investment in our nation’s future.”
“This budget is a massive cut in support for students and communities,” said Laura Cavanaugh, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.
“If we’re going to be able to have a robust, equitable system, we need to be investing in the schools, not cutting programs.”
Cavanaugh said the proposal will cut funds for grants for teacher preparation programs, which she said has been the most critical component of teacher preparation in the country.
“We are concerned that the budget will slash teacher preparation funding and make it harder for teachers to get a job,” she said.
A majority of education researchers and policymakers agree that schools and communities need to invest in teacher preparation.
The NEA, which is also a major player in the Teacher Preparation Partnership (TPP), said that while the TPP would be better if the federal government funded it, it is important that the education funding is directed at strengthening teachers’ educational skills.
However, not everyone is convinced that the proposed budget will help students.
“The idea of funding teacher preparation at all is a huge hole,” said Lusardi.
“It’s like putting a giant hole in the economy that no one’s filling.
We need to fix the economy, not just the schools.”