Education was not a big part of the 2016 presidential elections; in fact President-elect Donald Trump said very little about the U.S. educational system and how he planned to revise it. Ever since Trump won the U.S. presidency, America has been left confused and with many questions over the changes the federal educational system would undergo.
The main statements Trump made during his campaign were about getting rid of the Common Core, pushing for federally funded private school vouchers, and shutting down the U.S. department of education. It is expected that the changes he will make will greatly contrast those of the Obama administration.
Trump’s most notable campaign proposal on education is a $20 billion grant program to expand school choices. Trump intends to do this by using federal education funds for vouchers for students from low-income families. His plan also forces states to contribute a total of $110 billion for this program, which would create a system in which government money would fund students for either public or private schools. This proposal, however, has faced some opposition because Trump’s plan would take away money that is substantial for public schools; but it also has some support as the vouchers would allow parents to have more control over the type of education their child will receive, especially for those students in difficult situations, who need to move from school to school.
Of course, everything he said during his campaign about schools, education, and students won’t transfer directly into policy, but it does give some insight about what we could expect to happen in the near future. Trump completely shutting down the U.S. Education Department is extremely unlikely, but there is an actual chance that it will be downsized.
Trump is also likely to back what he has called a “market-driven” approach to education. This makes many democrats and civil-rights groups, who see the federal government as a safety plan for the low-income students and minority groups, feel uneasy.
The Trump administration could also scale back the work of the Office of Civil Rights. Previously, under Obama, this department had increased thorough investigations of college sexual assault cases and of schools that unfairly suspended and expelled students of certain races. The Obama administration had focused a lot on protecting transgender students from discrimination and worked towards abolishing discrimination based on racial and sexual diversity. This was the main focus of the Office of Civil Rights for the past few years, but with Trump’s new goals he has for the downsizing of the department, all that has been done might be undone. The progress that was made during Obama’s time might be undone by Trump’s proposals he has for the American education system. America will just have to wait and see what happens in the years to come. But hopefully, the future changes made are for the better instead of the worse.