The wait continues for details about President Donald Trump’s school choice plan.
While some reports said Trump would highlight school choice Wednesday at a rally in Nashville, he gave only brief billing to the topic at the conclusion of his speech. He offered no specifics on his plans for the nation’s schools, nor did he comment on choice legislation in Tennessee.
Instead, he repeated a promise he’s made before — and asked Congress to pay for.
“We will give our children the right to attend the school of their choice, one where they will be taught to love this country and its values,” he said. “… We will fight for the right of every American child to grow up in a safe neighborhood, attend a great school and to graduate with access to a high-paying job that they love doing.”
The president spent the bulk of his 40-minute speech criticizing a federal judge’s ruling only hours earlier to halt his revised travel ban aimed at refugees and travelers from six Muslim-majority nations. Trump also talked at length about his promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.
The short shrift to education in Wednesday’s speech means Trump’s first budget proposal, set for release Thursday, is likely to be the first opportunity to understand his plans to turn his $20 billion school choice vision into reality. On the campaign trail, he promised to redirect money meant for educating students from low-income families to private school choice programs. He touted vouchers and tax credit scholarships, which also use taxpayer money toward private school options.
Until now, lawmakers have declined to create broad voucher programs in Tennessee, but proponents are optimistic that Trump’s endorsement of those policies will help push them into law this year.