Our Education Freedom Scholarships proposal . . . doesn’t grow the government bureaucracy one tiny bit. . . . It doesn’t impose any new requirements on states or on families. It doesn’t take a single dollar from public school students, and it doesn’t spend a single dollar of government money. And it doesn’t entangle schools with federal strings or stifling red tape. In fact, it can’t. And that’s by design.
Betsy DeVos and Kellyanne Conway are probably the two least qualified people in America to talk about how to best help students succeed.Today, by once again pushing the Trump Administration’s plans to cut $5 billion from public schools to fund private and religious schools through failed voucher schemes, DeVos and Conway proved how completely out of touch they are with what students need.
Betsy is taking a page out of the president’s playbook by calling people names when things aren’t going well. It’s so disappointing that, once again, she has betrayed her responsibilities as secretary of education to foster safe and welcoming environments for students and to resist the divisiveness and polarization enabled by her boss.
Education Freedom Scholarships are the conservative answer to what ails American education. They also happen to be the answer that a super-majority of parents, particularly African American and Hispanic parents, say they’re looking for.
But these seem like distinctions without a difference. What’s being proposed is a dollar-for-dollar tax credit, meaning taxpayers would end up footing the cost of the scholarships (albeit indirectly and capped at $5 billion) even if the private sector is fronting the money.Meanwhile, the Education Department is justifying the proposed cuts to its budget in terms of “fiscal discipline” and “the President’s overall goal of increasing support for national security and public safety without adding to the Federal budget deficit.” DeVos and the Trump administration are choosing to fund the tax credits while choosing to cut the department’s programs.
Federal taxpayers may not be funding these scholarships directly, but they would be footing up to $5 billion of the cost in lost revenue from the new tax credits. That means forgoing revenue that could have been used on building roads or paying teacher salaries.