We’ve written before about how the House Republican budget proposals present a fundamentally different vision for the country, a vision that hurts the economy and undermines hard-working Americans. When it comes to investing in the future of America – our children – their priorities are equally destructive.
The Republican budget would gut programs for pre-kindergarten education, low-income students, Special Education programs, and college students. Their budget even goes after workers looking to learn new skills to better compete in the 21st century economy. While the President has offered a budget that would keep our country competitive by investing in our workers and our future workers, here’s what Republican budget would do to students of all different kinds:
Pre-K: Cut Head Start openings for 35,000 children;
Students in low-income areas: Eliminate $1.2 billion in Title I education funding, which would fund 4,500 schools, 17,000 teachers and aides and 1.9 million students;
Special education: Withdraw $347 million in IDEA funding, which would support up to 6,000 special education teachers, paraprofessionals and staff;
Workforce development: Impede job training and employment services for more than 2 million workers;
Higher education: Limit Pell Grants so that more than 8 million students would receive less financial aid and restrict loan forgiveness and income-based repayment programs that would amount to more than $160 billion in cuts.
And while this is at the federal level, conservative leaders at the state level have shown themselves to agree with these priorities. In Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker’s budget is wreaking havoc on institutions of learning. University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is close to laying off nearly a quarter of their employees. Rural Wisconsin schools have had to cut counselors and librarians in part because of a lack of funding.
In North Carolina, Governor Pat McCrory’s budget would force the University of North Carolina system to raise tuition, cut professors and increase class sizes. In Kansas, Governor Sam Brownback proposed slashing school budgets to make up for his massive tax cuts largely that benefited the rich and didn’t help the economy. Rather than making important investments, Republican governors are gutting education funding just like they are cutting taxes and hoping that things will magically improve. That’s not how the economy works, and it’s not how education works either.
BOTTOM LINE: Conservatives like to say that America’s workers are the best in the world. But when it comes to supporting our workers and our future by investing in education, whether it is in Congress or in the states, their proposals and policies do the exact opposite: jeopardize our economy both today and in the future. (CAP- Center for American Progress)