On Wednesday, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos defended the budget for the Trump administration's School Choice agenda before a House subcommittee. However, there was no answer on whether or not funding would be withheld from private Schools with discriminatory student policies. Public education seems to be left behind in this new budget plan.

Parental and State Decisions

DeVos and many House Republicans say that parents should have the right to decide the type of education that best suits their children. DeVos stated that "we cannot allow any parent to feel their child is trapped in a school that isn’t meeting his or her unique needs." DeVos also said that it would be up to the states whether federal funding would be withheld from schools who are able to discriminate which students are allowed to enroll.

However, Democrats see a different side. Democrats found the budget plan to ignore the needs of low-income and working-class families. The budget plan would take out over 20 education programs and pushes more money towards expanding school choice initiatives. A portion of the funding that is being redirected is a $250 million program that gives students scholarships to attend private schools.

While we've already seen changes taking place in public schools, the agenda for private schools is just beginning.

Public Education

Since Betsy DeVos has had attention from the public, it has been known that she greatly supports private and charter schools. DeVos has little experience with public schools.

So little, in fact, that when she was first introduced, many Republicans did not approve of President Trump's decision in choosing her.

All of this information points toward DeVos, and the Trump administration having a personal agenda against public schools.

The Trump administration's initial proposed budget would eliminate funding for many student activities, particularly after school and summer activities.

Thousands of teachers in the public education system would lose their jobs. Much of the money taken away from student programs and activities would be directed to fund more money into vouchers for private and charter schools.

There are many issues with this re-channeling of money. However, the biggest issues are the fact that voucher schools and programs don't work as well as public education, and that our public schools would be losing a large number of teachers and activities in order to give more funds to private schools.

We know that in many cities, after school programs are important in order to keep children out of harm's way and off of the streets.

Public education funding and programs have not been widely addressed yet. Changes to the initial proposed budget plan are possible and necessary.