President Trump is expected to ask Congress for a “one-time, emergency appropriation” for a grant proposal that would allow states to distribute funds to nonprofits that give scholarships to students to attend private schools. On the campaign trail, the president has framed school choice as a civil rights issue.
Trump’s plan would push forward DeVos’ Education Freedom Scholarships proposal — introduced in the House as H.R. 1434 (116)and the Senate as S. 634 (116) — that’s been stuck in Congress. It would provide federal tax credits for donations to scholarship-granting organizations to pay for students to attend private schools or expand their public education options.
House Appropriations Labor-HHS-Education Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) called the proposal “a slap in the face to the people who have been actually fighting for civil rights including equal access to high-quality education.” And Senate HELP ranking member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said the Trump administration is “using this pandemic as an excuse to push an ideological privatization agenda that would divert much-needed funds away from our public schools.”
Neither the Education Department nor the White House commented on the proposal.
MNUCHIN SAYS HE SUPPORTS MORE MONEY FOR SCHOOLS: Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin’s comments come as Democrats have tried to gain traction with their coronavirus relief packages that include billions of dollars of aid for education. Senate HELP Chair Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) has also voiced support in giving schools more aid. Mnuchin said the administration is “working with schools and universities” to reopen and “I think in most cases, schools will be able to open safely.” Some schools will need to spend money to reopen, he said, and the administration will to see “if we need to give money to schools to properly equip their areas” in a next bill.
from POLITICO’s Morning Education for July 7, 2020