Trump’s Education Department nixes Obama-era grant program for school diversity

 Photo Credit: Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post
Photo Credit: Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post

According to the Washington Post’s Emma Brown, President Trump’s Education Department has decided to eliminated an Obama-era grant program that intended to assist local districts in developing ways to boost socioeconomic diversity within their schools. The program was considered by some advocates as a barometer of the new administration’s commitment to integrated classrooms.

The Education Department said through a spokesman that the $12 million grant program was discontinued because it would not be a wise use of tax dollars, in part because the money was to be used for planning, not implementation. The decision says nothing about the administration’s interest in diversity, the spokesman said.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, speaking at the Brookings Institution on Wednesday, said she believes socioeconomic and racial diversity is “a real benefit in schools.” But advocates say her words don’t match her actions.

“This was the secretary’s first opportunity to show her commitment to school diversity, and she failed to come through,” said Philip Tegeler of the Poverty and Race Research Action Council, one of nearly two dozen scholars and advocates who signed a letter to DeVos earlier this month, urging her to move forward with the program. Read more here.