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Many of the spending goals outlined in Donald Trump’s proposed education budget reflect his campaign rhetoric. The president, who has long called for reducing the federal government’s role in schools and universities, wants to cut the Education Department’s funding by $9 billion, or 13 percent of the budgetapproved by Congress last month. The few areas that would see a boost pertain to school choice, an idea that Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have repeatedly touted as a top priority.
In the White House’s spending proposal, hundreds of millions of the dollars would go toward charter-school and voucher initiatives, while another $1 billion in grants would encourage states to adopt school-choice policies.
But other aspects of Trump’s funding plan fly in the face of his past statements on education, raising confusion about his priorities. He wants to cut state grants for career and technical education (CTE), for example, by $166 million, and nearly halve funding for the roughly $1 billion federal work-study program. Both CTE and work-study are education models that enjoy broad bipartisan support and are particularly palatable to Republicans and the white, working-class voters who clinched Trump’s election. Tellingly, there’s little consensus between Trump’s spending proposal and the bipartisan appropriations bill unveiled by Congress earlier this month.