JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – As President Donald Trump is pushing to slash America’s public school system to pay for voucher programs that send taxpayer dollars to private schools – a move Education Secretary Betsy DeVos defended in a high-profile Congressional hearing yesterday – even Republican Senator Roy Blunt says he finds the massive overhaul “unacceptable,” while Missouri’s other Republicans in Congress have been silent.
President Trump’s budget, among other harmful cuts to agricultural and health care resources, would slash more than $9 billion – which is 13.5% of the total budget – from the Department of Education. Those cuts would be “spread across K-12 and aid to higher education,” according to NPR, and would then be used to pay for voucher programs for private schools around the country –negatively impacting the over 90% of American children that attend public schools.
“The deep cuts Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos want to make to public schools show that they clearly don’t understand that those very public schools are central to our communities in Missouri – and they certainly don’t understand the reality that in rural Missouri, being handed a voucher to attend some faraway private school doesn’t make any sense,” stated Missouri Democratic Party Chair Stephen Webber. “With even Roy Blunt speaking out, the silence of the rest of Missouri’s Republicans in DC must mean they’re okay with shortchanging our kids as long as they don’t have to break from their own political party or millionaire donors.”
Webber added that Missouri’s Republican Representatives Ann Wagner (MO2), Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO3), Vicky Hartzler (MO4), Sam Graves (MO6), Billy Long (MO7) and Jason Smith (MO8) should defend Missourians who rely on the public school system and speak out against President Trump’s harmful budget.
Missouri Senator Roy Blunt “identified numerous cuts he found unacceptable,” at a Congressional appropriations hearing for the subcommittee that funds the Department of Education, according to MissouriNet.