Baltimore’s New Mayor Proposes $288 Million in Education Spending to Save City’s Schools

Nevada’s Governor Rushes to Save Education Savings Accounts. But Will Program Survive Legislature’s Democrats?

Will the Same Conservative Coalition That Derailed Health Care Bill Now Kill Federal School Choice?

DeVos Hints at ESSA as Means for Feds to Push School Choice but Downplays Federal Oversight

As NY Lawmakers Mull Budget to Expand Charter Schools, Fears of Federal Cuts May Shift Political Alliances

Arne Duncan Makes Two Big Endorsements in L.A. School Board Race, Throws Support Behind Reformers

Our School’s Too White? Outraged Parents Vow to Lie About Child’s Race to Keep City From Removing Teachers

Ivanka Trump, Betsy DeVos Tout STEM Education to 200 Students at Air & Space Museum

Black Girls 6 Times as Likely to Be Suspended as Whites. ‘Let Her Learn’ Looks to Reverse the Trend

Can Mónica García Unify L.A.? How the Longest-Serving School Board Member Cruised to Her Fourth Election Win

WATCH: 4,000 Kids Take Over NYC’s Radio City Music Hall With America’s Biggest Academic Pep Rally

Where Education Research, Politics & Policy Intersect: 3 States Reveal How Data Help Shape Their ESSA Plans

Tennessee Bets Big on Personalized Learning, Launching Pilot Program & Eyeing Big 2020 Goals

MUST-SEE: School Films Epic 12-Minute ‘Trolls’ Music Video to Lift Spirits of Sick 5-Year-Old Girl

In Uniting Students With Prospective Employers, the Whether Job Search App Wins SXSWedu Tech Competition

More HS Students Are Graduating, but These Key Indicators Prove Those Diplomas Are Worth Less Than Ever

Race & Class: Chicago Schools Sue State, Claim Minority Kids See 78 Cents Per Dollar Sent to White Schools

KIPP v. UFT: Charter Network Sues Union, Arguing It Doesn’t Represent School’s Teachers

Supreme Court Sets New Standard for Special Ed, Unanimously Rejects Minimal School Progress

D.C. Approves ESSA Accountability Plan That Emphasizes Testing Standards & Transparency

What Will Trump Do on Education? Seeking Clues on Common Core, School Choice, ESSA

Photo Credit: Getty Images

November 9, 2016

Talking Points

Look to Trump’s advisers for hints about what his education policies might be. #EDlection2016

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Americans are taking stock of what Donald Trump’s election as president and the accompanying tectonic political shift means for the country going forward. In education, the best bet may be to examine known quantities — officials already in charge and those likely to join a Trump administration.
Rick Hess, education policy director at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, wrote this morning that Trump’s early priorities are likely to lie outside education: in health care, foreign treaties and trade agreements, tax cuts and the vacancy on the Supreme Court.
“When education does come up, who really knows what a Trump administration would actually try to do on schooling?” Hess wrote. “Sure, Trump’s said some things. … As I’ve noted before, ‘There’s no reason to believe that Trump necessarily means what he’s said on any issue. In truth, he seems to regard policy declarations as performance art.’ So we’ll see if he devises a clear agenda on school choice or higher education, and whether he pushes it.”
Those “things” have included advocating for expanding school choice, ending the Common Core, instituting some reforms in higher education and doing away with gun-free school zones — the latter of which would require Congress to overturn an existing law and probably doesn’t have enough support outside a very limited, very conservative wing of the Republican Party.
During his victory speech Tuesday night, Trump said that “we are going to fix our inner cities” and rebuild schools, along with other infrastructure projects.
In the past, he has talked about abolishing the Education Department – probably unlikely, given the sheer complexity of doing so and the fact that the department is the primary conduit for issuing student loans. More likely is a scaled-back agency, one that could well halt the Obama administration’s active work in areas like school discipline disparities and Title IX enforcement regarding sexual assault on college campuses and protections for transgender students.
Far-reaching regulatory proposals implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act, like the controversial “supplement not supplant” rule on school funding, will probably be gone too.
Mike Petrilli, president of the conservative-leaning Thomas B. Fordham Institute, wrote in a blog post Wednesday morning that Trump’s election “is going to throw a huge wrench into the implementation timeline” for ESSA. He urged Education Secretary John King and the department to pull their proposals and work with Trump’s transition team to keep implementation on track.
For all the questions that remain, there are some people in power, either in Congress or who have Trump’s ear, whose views are well-known. For a President Trump, who has indicated he isn’t particularly interested in the machinations of policy, looking to those loyalists may provide a better preview.
• Vice President–Elect Mike Pence: The Indiana governor was a hero to school choice advocates in his home state, where he pushed for charter schools and expanded voucher programs. He also signed the first bill pulling a state out of the Common Core.
• Sen. Lamar Alexander: The chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has pushed back against the department’s ESSA regulatory proposals. (Read The 74’s interview with Alexander from this summer.)
• Rep. Virginia Foxx: The likely next chair of the House Education and the Workforce Committee has a background in higher education and generally holds mainstream conservative views that value limited federal regulation and intervention in education.
• House Speaker Paul Ryan: In a speech Wednesday morning, Ryan again touted his “Better Way” agenda that calls for the kind of school voucher program Trump has supported.
• New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: The leader of Trump’s transition team made headlines for his fights with teachers unions – groups sure to have diminished influence going forward.
• Dr. Ben Carson: Trump’s former political rival has been rumored to be among the possibilities for education secretary. He’s a fan of school choice — including homeschooling — and against the Common Core.