Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced at the White House on Wednesday that President Trump was donating $100,000, his salary for the second quarter of the year, to the Education Department to help fund a science camp.
The headline of the news release issued by the Education Department said: “Secretary DeVos Accepts President Trump’s Q2 Salary as a Donation for STEM-Focused Camp.” STEM refers to science, technology, engineering and math. DeVos said this at the White House, according to the news release:
“I want to start by saying how grateful I am to the President for this generous gift. The president has truly shown his commitment to our nation’s students and to reforming education in America so that every child, no matter their Zip code, has access to a high-quality education.
“He and I have had many conversations about how best to put students’ needs first and to ensure we are setting them up for a lifetime of success. There is much work to be done, but we are certainly on the right track thanks to the president’s leadership.”
Trump had donated his first-quarter salary — $78,333.32 — to the National Park Service, which faces budget cuts in the president’s proposed budget, as do the Education Department and federal science initiatives. The discrepancy in sum is related to the amount of time he was in office in the different quarterly periods. U.S. presidents earn $400,000 annually, though the wealthy Trump has said he doesn’t need his federal salary.
DeVos made note of an event on Tuesday that she and Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and adviser, attended together at a Smithsonian museum in Washington. The two women have launched a joint effort to persuade girls to become involved in STEM subjects. In March, they toured the National Air and Space Museum with middle school students as part of the campaign.
DeVos also said Wednesday:
“Just yesterday, Ivanka Trump and I hosted a summer reading event at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History where the focus was on getting young girls, ages 6-10, excited about learning Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. It was fun to see their eyes light up as they got to explore, create and experiment in a collaborative environment.
“Today’s and tomorrow’s economy requires engaged students, boys and girls, are prepared for STEM careers. That’s why we have decided to use the President’s 2nd quarter salary to host a STEM-focused camp for students at the Department of Education.
“We look forward to this exciting endeavor. Again, thank you to President Trump for this generous gift.”
At that event at the museum’s Spark! Lab, part of DeVos’s effort to encourage students to stay engaged in education over the summer, about 30 girls heard DeVos and Ivanka Trump read the book “Rosie Revere, Engineer,” by Andrea Beaty, which is about a young girl who likes to invent “gizmos and gadgets” and dreams of becoming a great engineer. The book, which Ivanka Trump said was her daughter’s favorite, is geared toward elementary school students.
The two women then spent some time with the girls as they conducted science experiments in the lab.
Before becoming president, Trump often boasted about the extent of his philanthropy — but, as Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold reported in a Pulitzer Prize-winning series, his actual giving didn’t really match his claims.