Would harm NJ schools, students and communities

The Trump administration released more details of its proposed budget today, and it is clearer than ever that that the administration is using its budget to mount a direct assault on public education, children and working families. It is a budget designed to widen America’s already-gaping wealth gap by showering lavish tax cuts on the very wealthy while shredding the nation’s economic safety net. It defunds public schools, hands over precious public education resources to the forces of privatization and threatens to make the nation’s crippling student debt crisis even worse for struggling students and families. It is a budget designed to accelerate the concentration of wealth in the hands of people like Donald Trump and his cronies at the expense of hundreds of millions of working class Americans.

NJEA’s elected leaders condemned the proposed budget harshly, calling on New Jersey’s congressional delegation to oppose it.

“This budget is Robin Hood in reverse,” said NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer. “It proposes to take educational opportunities and vital public services away from those who need them most in order to give tax breaks to those who need them least. It’s a budget designed by billionaires, for billionaires, with no concern at all for those who will be devastated by its cruel cuts. We will fight to make sure this budget is not implemented.”

NJEA Vice President Marie Blistan was blunt in her assessment of the budget’s public education priorities. “When Donald Trump nominated Besty DeVos to be Secretary of Education, we knew that his administration was hostile to public education. This budget is just more proof that Trump and DeVos are willing to starve public schools in order to advance their agenda of private schools paid for with public tax dollars,” said Blistan. “The budget is an insult to educators, to students and to families and communities that rely on strong public schools. It’s an educational issue, an economic issue and a social justice issue and we will fight it on all of those fronts.”

“Every budget reflects the values of those who created it and this budget shows that the Trump administration’s values are not true American values,” said NJEA Secretary-Treasurer Sean M. Spiller.  “It is designed to heighten social inequality and make it more difficult for struggling families to succeed, undermining the American dream. We will resist this cruel budget and stand strong for public education, for working families and for our fundamental democratic values of justice and opportunity for all, not just for a few.”

NJEA will urge New Jersey’s congressional delegation to reject this budget and to work toward a new plan that prioritizes public education, gives students and families the opportunity to succeed and provides hope to all Americans.

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