In Public Schools

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Anticipated Changes In The American Education System

Posted by Admin On April - 23 - 2017

GOP CONVENTIONIn contrast to preceding years, the current changes that are about to sweep the American educational sector cannot be predicted. Obviously, this is due to Donald Trump emerging victorious in the last presidential elections.

But during his campaign, Trump didn’t say much about his plans for the educationaIl sector and most of what he did say lacked details. Some of the radical changes being anticipated are outlined below.

School Choice Push

In Trump’s administration, school choice is a central focus in his detailed proposals for the educational sector. To this end, Trump has pledged to invest $20 billion into a program that plans to allocate grants to states to enable the improvement and expansion of school choice around the country.

With Betsy DeVos’ appointment as the Secretary of Education, Trump’s administration is poised to push school choice. DeVos, who for many years has been advocating for school vouchers and charter schools is about to make her dream come true.

But it remains to be seen if Trump would follow through on his promises this year. Trump’s pledge comes at the cost of $20 billion. With his interest in the cutting of taxes, construction of a wall along the Mexican border, and possible implementation of a major infrastructural investment plan, he might not be eager to expend the effort necessary to lobby Congress for a K-12 push.

End of the Crusade on Campus Sexual Assault

During his campaign, Trump promised to revoke Obama’s executive directives ordered by Obama once he assumed office. If this promise is kept, a major effect would be felt on college campuses all over the country since the Obama administration used its executive authority to force schools to clamp down on sexual assault, which is believed to be rampant on campus.

The “Dear Colleague” letter of 2011, mandated schools to either lower their burden of proof for accusations of sexual assault or lose federal funding. This directive, together with a surge of investigations by the OCR (Office for Civil Rights) drove college administrators to implement more aggressive policies on sexual assault. If Trump repeals the letter and reduces the investigative pace of OCR, the end of the crusade against campus sexual assault might very well be in sight.

Transgender Bathrooms

Another area that might be affected if Trump’s promise of repealing Obama’s executive directives is implemented is the issue of transgender persons using school locker rooms and bathrooms.

This issue is still a major source of conflict, with Republicans in North Carolina declining to amend the law in a special session that was held towards the end of last year. Also, a court case is still pending at the federal level against the joint letter by the Justice and Education Departments ruling that public schools should permit students to use bathrooms meant for their gender.

Although Trump might repeal Obama’s bathroom directive, this alone wouldn’t solve the issue. The issue may eventually have to be determined by the Supreme Court.

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