Trump lays out education policy with strong support of school choice

During today’s education policy speech, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump recognized school choice as one of the most important issues in the 2016 election. In a speech at Cleveland Arts and Social Sciences Academy, Trump focused largely on providing school choice to low-income families, who often have children assigned to the nation’s most troubled schools.

“We know that millions of children, mostly low-income and minority children, remain trapped in K-12 schools that are not meeting their needs,” said Betsy DeVos, chairman of the American Federation for Children. “We applaud the Trump campaign’s focus on school choice and laying out common sense proposals to help all children access a quality education. Empowering parents with school choice, including private school choice, has helped millions of children succeed in school, and it is long past time we had a K-12 system that allowed parents to choose the best educational environment for their child.”

The proposal by Trump also included establishing a $20 billion block grant that can be utilized by states to empower the 11 million school-aged children living in poverty. Trump also committed to utilizing the bully pulpit of the presidency to campaign in favor of improving and creating new state level school choice programs and to elect state leaders who support school choice.

“While I do not support Donald Trump, his speech on school choice demonstrates that he is giving serious thought to education issues and I strongly challenge Hillary Clinton to do the same,” said Kevin P. Chavous, a former Democrat elected official and founding board member of the American Federation for Children. “As a lifelong Democrat and education reformer, I urge Hillary Clinton to show more openness and creativity when it comes to embracing school reform, choice and charter schools. So far Mrs. Clinton has largely been a representative of the interests of teachers’ unions and the status quo, which is in opposition to parents and students and will serve to be on the wrong side of history.”

On school choice, Donald Trump said, “It’s simply a matter of putting students first, and not the education bureaucracy.” He also emphasized the importance of competition in education and how parents should be able to choose the public, private or charter school of their choice for their children.