(White House Press Release, December 28, 2020)
“All families should be empowered to make the decision that is right for their own circumstance.” – Donald J. Trump, President of the United States
EMPOWERING PARENTS AND STUDENTS: President Donald J. Trump is taking action to expand K-12 educational options for disadvantaged children impacted by the pandemic.
- Today, President Trump signed an Executive Order offering flexibility to provide certain disadvantaged children with emergency K-12 scholarships to access in-person learning opportunities.
- The Order allows States and eligible entities to use available Federal Community Service Block Grants (CSBG) funds to provide life-changing scholarships to families whose children cannot access in-person learning.
- CSBG funds totaled nearly $1.7 billion in FY 2020.
- Scholarships provided with CSBG funds can help families pay for private school tuition, home schooling, micro schooling, learning-pod expenses, special education services, or tutoring.
- Despite providing $13 billion in Federal support for K-12 schools this spring to safely resume in-person learning, more than half of all public school students began school remotely this fall.
- A lack of in-person learning most harms low-income students and students with disabilities.
- Research shows that during school closures this spring, students’ math progress in low-income neighborhoods decreased by nearly 50 percent and those from middle-income neighborhoods fell by almost a third.
- According to surveys, children with special needs were twice as likely to receive little or no virtual instruction and to be dissatisfied with the virtual instruction they received.
- A recent survey of educators found student absences have doubled during the pandemic.
- Analysts project that if in-person classes do not fully resume until January 2021, low-income students will lose over a year of learning.
- Projections also show that an average student could lose between $61,000 to $82,000 in lifetime earnings, or the equivalent of a full year of full-time work.
- President Trump has led a national conversation on expanding school choice and introduced the most transformative education funding proposal ever, Education Freedom Scholarships.
- President Trump has twice signed legislation re-authorizing the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program.
- The Trump Administration has invested nearly $1.5 billion in the development of public charter schools, helping this innovative sector grow to 7,500 charter schools serving more than 3 million students.
- Because of the President’s historic tax reform, parents across the nation can now withdraw up to $10,000 tax-free per year from 529 education savings plans to cover public, private, or religious K-12 schooling costs.