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Don Jr: Trump Commits to Defunding Public Schools

Trump will use a second term to create school voucher program

Kris LaGrange's picture
Aug 28, 2020

Across the country, teachers' unions are grappling with how to reopen schools safely. In some places, the union has a strong voice and the districts are working with them on a safe reopening plan. In others, like Florida, the Governor is forcing in-person classes to open even as the state is still registering thousands of new COVID-19 cases a day.

To stop this, the Florida Education Association and the Orange County teachers union sued to stop the reopening. In the first round, the union won with Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson ruling that the financial bullying by Governor Ron DeSantis was unconstitutional.

Soon after the decision, Trump’s son Don Jr. took aim at the union and the judge. In a Fox News editorial, Junior took aim at the Judge, saying he:

“Decided to put the interests of union bosses ahead of the state’s constitution, in violation of the separation of powers and ahead of Florida’s children. It is unacceptable for Democrats and the activists who control teachers’ unions to put their pursuit of power ahead of the educational needs of our children. Thankfully, President Trump and school choice leaders are fighting back to ensure every student has access to school choices and a world-class education, regardless of their circumstance or background.”

Instead of supporting public schools and coming up with a safe way to reopen Florida schools, Juniorr argues that public schools should be defunded, instead of using that money to create a voucher system that allows taxpayer money to be used to send children to private, religious and non-union schools.

While Jr goes on to say that “These alternatives to traditional public schools have historically catered to underprivileged, minority, and disabled children where traditional institutions have failed,” this simply is not the case. Private schools are not required to provide special education services because they do not receive special education funding. In Florida, the average private school tuition is nearly $9,000 meaning that many underprivileged families can not afford to send their children to these schools, while over 60% of white children in the state either attend a private school or are homeschooled.

The reality that Junior doesn’t get is that public schools in the state educate everyone, from the recent immigrant child who is learning English to a child from the poorest neighborhoods in Miami to the valedictorian headed to Harvard. Instead of praising these schools, Jr calls them “failure factories.”

While an elected official's son spouting off in an editorial on Fox News usually wouldn’t make the news, Jr’s editorial does because his father is pushing this same plan. Junior says that in a second Trump term, his father is committed to ensuring a school choice program, aka voucher program, is established. Here is his direct quote:

“More broadly, in his second-term agenda released ahead of the Republican Nation Convention that began Monday, President Trump committed to ensuring school choice for every American child — a bold promise that convention speakers, including myself, are speaking about.”

Considering that the education part only includes two things Provide School Choice to Every Child in America and Teach American Exceptionalism it is likely that if Trump is reelected he will prioritize defunding public education.

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