Trump renews push for school choice initiative

President Trump returned to a campaign theme Tuesday night, renewing his push for school choice.

Here’s the salient quote from Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress:

“I am calling upon members of both parties to pass an education bill that funds school choice for disadvantaged youth, including millions of African-American and Latino children,” Trump said. “These families should be free to choose the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school that is right for them.”

During the fall campaign, Trump floated the idea of a $20 billion block grant program to fund school vouchers and charter schools. Trump doubled down on this theme by tapping controversial school choice advocate Betsy DeVos as his education secretary.

It’s worth noting that vouchers are unconstitutional in Idaho. The state’s “Blaine Amendment” outlaws the use of public dollars to support religious schools, and this language effectively outlaws vouchers.

For more details on the Trump speech, here are links from Education Week, the Los Angeles Times and The 74. For a closer look at Trump’s plan for a school choice tax credit, here’s a link to POLITICO.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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