“As the saying goes, personnel is politics, and at the end of the day, if we have pink-haired communists teaching our children, we are in big trouble,” Trump said. “We are at the bottom of the list in education and yet we are the biggest spenders, but we will be first in education no matter where you go anywhere in the world.”
Although much of education policy is dictated by state and local governments, Trump’s proposals continue to represent a radical departure from longstanding approaches. Taken as a whole, they represent an attempt by the former president to put his own stamp on the debates about the nation’s school systems that have erupted in state capitals.
Conservatives, for example, have pushed for restrictions on transgender athletes, despite the fact that transgender women have been allowed to compete in the women’s divisions at the Olympics since 2003 and in the NCAA since 2010.
Meanwhile, just days ago, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), a potential 2024 contender, blocked high schools in his state from teaching an Advanced Placement African-American Studies curriculum over what he described as the inclusion of topics such as «queer theory». ” and movements that called for “abolishing prisons”.
The White House and educational groups, including the College Board, have aggressively pushed back against DeSantis, arguing that he has no basis or credibility to make such determinations. More generally, school administrators and progressive activists have noted that critical race theory is not taught by most public school officials across the country, even in districts where lawmakers seek to ban it.
But Trump’s policy proposal underscores just how prepared Republicans are for this kind of fight. During his time in office, Trump’s primary policy goal education platform It was not so much in the cultural elements as in the desire to broaden the school options, including a federal tax credit to help parents pay for private school tuition.
Now running for office again, Trump is calling for a certification program for teachers who “embrace patriotic values” and “funding preferences and favorable treatment” for states and school districts that follow his calls to abolish teacher tenure. . He also calls for reducing administrative roles and adopting a «parents’ bill of rights.» Trump said he would also remove «radical and Marxist fanatics» who he claims have «infiltrated» the Department of Education.