If this election, and the past several years in the education advocate world has taught me one thing, it's that the elitists' mentality pervades a bit too much. Their mentality over the past few days have centered around one thing and one thing only: Eva.
But that Eva thing never really mattered to begin with. Neither did the Michelle Rhee thing.
What does matter is the $20 billion dollars that Trump is proposing to shift in USDOE and spend to undermine America's public school system.
Where would the money come from and how would that effect public schools?...his first budget would redirect $20 billion in federal funding to create a state-run block grant that he said he hoped would help poor children in low-performing public schools to enroll at charter and private schools"I'm proposing a plan to provide school choice to every disadvantaged student in America," Trump said.
Trump said during the campaign that he'd like to use existing federal funds to support his big school choice program, even though he didn't say, specifically what pot of money he was referring to. The department's current budget is about $70 billion, with roughly $15.5 billion going to Title I grants for districts, and $12 billion going to state grants for special education.Both programs have been absorbed into the blood stream of school district budgets, so re-directing the money would be a big deal.
There have been wild rumors from the left, and indeed the right, that he would eliminate the USDOE altogether. But one look into the names that have surfaced as rumored picks for DOE Secretary make it obvious that that's never going to happen. Aside from Williamson Evers, one of two who are leading his transition on education, the names Rhee, Moskowitz and even DeVos aren't associated with destroying the USDOE. Even the name dujour, Congressman Luke Messer of Indiana is associated with something far more sinister: school choice. Implementing choice will require the use of the USDOE.
And $20 billion is a lot of money.
Race To the Top caused massive disruptions in public school across the nation and the Obama administration only spent $4 billion on that. That's a discount next to this. Trump's plan, to shift money form among the federal budget away from the USDOE and into direct grants so school parents can choose to stay in public schools or go to a private school is five times that amount. The money that would be shifted within the DOE is system money, meaning that whole school districts rely on it to run their system. $20 billion would change almost everything we know about public education.
And if you're thinking that the Democrats can block this with a 60 vote cloture requirement, think again. A tax re-write in going to happen in 2017 and a matter like shifting federal tax dollars around could easily be tied to the tax code changes, which, under the rules, requires only a 51 vote majority to bring to a floor vote. Not 60. In other words, tax matters are not what most other folks would call filibuster proof.
$20 billion dollars would change almost everything. And all I see and hear from the NY elites is Eva. I wonder who they will pick as an enemy tomorrow while ignoring the obvious threat public school advocates are facing.