‘Bucket-load of ideas’: Trump signs executive order banning federal funding for public schools
President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Friday to temporarily block federal funds for public education and other programs, while the Department of Education reviews whether it should continue to fund them.
The order bars federal and state funding for schools and public colleges that have not met their graduation goals.
It also blocks federal funding that states do not provide to students who attend public schools or receive federal assistance.
Trump’s order was a victory for parents, teachers and school administrators, who have complained that schools have been left behind in a country where the percentage of students who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches has increased from 16 percent in 2014 to nearly 20 percent in 2020.
Trump has repeatedly threatened to withhold federal funding from schools that do not comply with federal standards.
The Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights is investigating the school districts who receive federal aid and is looking into whether states are doing enough to ensure students get access to nutritious meals.
The Trump administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A spokesman for Trump did not respond to questions about whether the president planned to use his executive powers to prevent states from complying with federal requirements that they provide more nutritious food to students, or whether the federal government would be able to withhold its money.
Some of Trump’s top aides, including Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Education Secretary John B. King Jr., were also among those who supported the order, as were former Florida Gov.
Jeb Bush, who is the vice president of the National Association of School Superintendents.
At the Education Department, there are several dozen schools with large populations of students that are on probationary status, meaning they have not yet met their academic goals.
Many of those schools are in states that Trump won in the 2016 presidential election, such as Texas, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Mississippi, Mississippi Delta and Alabama.
The president has called for eliminating “super-poverty schools” and is considering a plan to create an additional $1.5 billion for schools, a proposal that has drawn criticism from education advocates and teachers’ unions.
In addition to his order, Trump signed a supplemental order to a federal budget bill on Thursday that directs the secretary of health and human services to submit recommendations for reforming federal food assistance programs, including a plan for funding food stamps for people who cannot pay for it and a plan on how to implement the Fair Food Program.
The Food and Nutrition Service is also working on a “food security plan,” according to a statement.
In a tweet on Friday, Trump said the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, is “a disaster for millions of families.”
The president also signed an order on Thursday directing the department to conduct a review of the impact of the recent Supreme Court ruling that ruled that public school students are not protected from being fired for the same reasons private schools are.
The decision was a blow to school leaders in many states that have enacted laws that prohibit private schools from firing teachers for teaching or other activities that are deemed disruptive to students.
Some schools have filed lawsuits to overturn the ruling.
Trump has previously said that he supports private schools.