Trump touts school choice proposal in State of the Union

President Trump used his State of the Union address Tuesday night to push a familiar goal: school choice.

“For too long, countless American children have been trapped in failing government schools,” said Trump, urging Congress to pass a $5 billion federal tax credit plan to support school choice.

But the plan — the Education Freedom Scholarship proposal — “has been considered a long shot from the start,” Evie Blad of Education Week reported Tuesday. In 2018, she noted, a Republican Congress turned down a $1 billion grant proposal.

Nonetheless, Trump Education Secretary Betsy DeVos tried to paint the proposal as a bipartisan cause.

“Education freedom is inevitable,” DeVos said in a statement Tuesday night. “We know it works for students, and we know overwhelming majorities of Americans want it. I’m grateful to the President for his strong support of this proposal from day one.”

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten slammed Trump and DeVos for again showing their antipathy toward public schools.

“Parents, communities and educators want freedom, all right: the freedom to fund our kids’ futures and meet our children’s needs,” she said. “They want investment in the services that make a difference in their lives, not in the private alternatives that further segregate and divide us.”


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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