Education Week - November 16, 2016 - 23
Details to Come on Trump K-12 Plans
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
Pressing Issues and Staff
While education is not a high-profile issue politically at the moment,
it's not as if the Trump administration won't have anything to do on
At or near the top of the K-12
to-do list is how the new administration handles the Every Student
Succeeds Act, or ESSA, the latest
version of the flagship federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act that was first passed in
1965. The Education Department
under President Barack Obama is
relatively close to finalizing ESSA
regulations governing how states
hold schools accountable and how
districts must show they are using
federal money to supplement their
state and local school budgets.
Republicans in Congress have
been critical of both sets of proposals from the department, particularly the one governing the supplemental-money rule. In fact, 25 GOP
lawmakers recently asked the department to rescind its proposal for
ensuring federal funds are supplemental, not a replacement for state
and local money, on the grounds
that the proposal would give the
department too much power over
state and local budget decisions.
(See story, Page 15.)
The incoming administration may
be on the same page as those lawmakers, said Gerard Robinson, a
fellow at the American Enterprise
Institute and former state schools
chief in Virginia and Florida.
"I think [Trump's] secretary of
education will handle it differently
than what we've seen from [current
Secretary] John King," regarding
the so-called supplement-not-supplant rules, Robinson said. Robin-
(caucus with Democrats)
U.S. HOUSE OF
SOURCE: Associated Press trend data as of Nov. 10
son is serving as a member of the
Trump transition team, but spoke
only on his own behalf.
However, when it comes to ESSA
in general, Robinson said he believes that Trump views the law as
a result of a "bipartisan coalition"
and that the president-elect won't
get too heavily involved in ESSA's
And Robinson expects states to
have a great deal of flexibility in
the ESSA accountability plans that
they submit to the Trump administration starting next year-significantly more than they enjoyed
under Obama-era waivers from the
No Child Left Behind Act, the predecessor to ESSA.
"This is a great time to be a state
chief," Robinson said, adding at the
same time that "I don't want state
chiefs to think that when they turn
those [plans] in that, 'Oh, well,
these will just get approved.' "
What's more, a lot of policies
under the No Child Left Behind Act
were part of the law but the George
W. Bush or Obama administration
didn't do much to enforce them. A
couple of examples: the requirement
that highly qualified teachers be
distributed fairly between poor and
less-poor schools, and that districts
offer free tutoring to students in
schools that weren't making progress under the law.
There could be similar examples
of provisions that are on the books
in ESSA, or in the Obama administration's regulations for the law,
said Vic Klatt, a one-time aide to
House Republicans who is now a
principal at the Penn Hill Group.
And since the Trump administration will be the first to enforce
ESSA, it could be "easier and less
disruptive" for it to simply ignore
parts of the law than it would be
for another administration down
the line, Klatt said.
Trump could also discard another key piece of the Obama education legacy: The president-elect
could significantly curb the role
of the department's office for civil
rights when it comes to state and
local policies, according to Robinson, and thereby return the OCR's
role more to how it operated under
Presidents George H.W. Bush and
George W. Bush. That could have a
big impact on everything from action on racial disparities in school
discipline to transgender students'
Robinson also said that he ex-
FROM TOP RIGHT: Presidentelect Donald Trump speaks at
his victory rally on Nov. 9 in
New York City. The Republican
real estate developer made
school choice a key theme
when talking about public
education on the
Democratic nominee Hillary
Clinton focused more on
early education and college
affordability than K-12 in her
losing bid for the White House.
pects the OCR to ensure that students' rights are not "trampled on."
Some civil rights advocates
though, are already concerned,
given some of Trump's campaigntrail rhetoric on Muslims and Latinos, that the office won't flex its
"We're worried," said Liz King,
the director of education policy for
the Leadership Conference on Civil
and Human Rights. "We're hearing
what everyone else is hearing from
teachers and families that kids
don't feel safe."
Much depends on whom Trump
picks to lead his Education Department-assuming that he decides
not to seek elimination or drastic
cutbacks to the agency, which he
has sometimes said he would like
In October, Carl Palladino, a
school board member in Buffalo,
N.Y., and a Trump campaign surrogate, said he believed that if
elected, Trump would pick someone
from outside the education policy
world to lead the department.
Another critical decision will be
on who reviews states' proposed
accountability plans for ESSA next
"Who are going to be his people?
If he brings in a traditional rightof-center group, you can take it
from there," said Maria Ferguson,
the executive director of the Center
on Education Policy, who worked in
the Education Department under
President Bill Clinton.
Ferguson suggested a traditional
conservative policy agenda of expanded charter schools and other
initiatives would probably get traction under Trump.
"All these familiar themes that
the right-of-center groups have
$100 billion nationwide.
In the campaign, the presidentelect also embraced merit pay for
teachers, without offering details beyond saying he found it unfair that
"bad" teachers sometimes earned
"more than the good ones." And,
on the early-childhood front, he's
pitched offering six weeks of maternity leave to women
who do not get it
through their emTION ployers, expanding
the availability of
dependent-care savings accounts, and offering tax incentives for employers
to provide on-site day care.
But otherwise, the Trump campaign mostly dealt in sound bites
with such controversial issues as
the Common Core State Standards,
the possibility of getting rid of the
U.S. Department of Education, and
gun-free school zones.
"I could really see him trying to
minimize any role [of the federal
government in education]," Nat
Malkus, a research fellow at the
conservative American Enterprise
Institute, said in contemplating the
implications of a Trump presidency
ahead of the vote.
talked about will become a version
of his agenda," Ferguson predicted.
She mentioned school choice and
groups like the Foundation for Excellence in Education, which was
founded by former Florida Gov.
Jeb Bush, one of Trump's rivals for
the GOP nomination. "But I don't
think it's going to come from him."
Earlier this year, Trump tapped
Rob Goad, a staffer for Rep. Luke
Messer, R-Ind., to be his education
adviser, not long before the Trump
campaign released its $20 billion
school choice plan. There are some
basic similarities between Trump's
plan and a push last year to make
federal Title I aid "portable" for disadvantaged students to use at both
public and private schools.
And Trump's transition team for
education includes Robinson, the
former Florida and Virginia state
chief, and Williamson M. Evers, a
research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, who
worked at the Education Department under President George W.
Working With Congress
Much also depends on Trump's
relationship with Congress and to
what extent he empowers key GOP
lawmakers on education policy.
Besides ESSA, Congress has
been fairly active in moving education-related legislation. In recent
months, for example, the House of
Representatives approved reauthorizations of the Carl D. Perkins
Career and Technical Education
Act and the Juvenile Justice and
Delinquency Prevention Act.
Some, but less, progress has also
been made on renewing the Child
Nutrition Act. And the Higher Education Act, the Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act, and the
Head Start federal preschool pro-
gram are up for reauthorization in
the near future.
Trump has outlined a general
plan on college affordability, including capping student-loan repayments at 12.5 percent of income
and instituting loan forgiveness
after 15 years for certain borrowers. College affordability is a more
prominent issue thanks to the
2016 presidential campaign. And
since Congress remains sharply
divided along partisan lines,
Trump and the Republicans likely
won't be able to simply roll ahead
with all their preferences on higher
"You're not doing anything legislatively without bipartisan support," said West, of Harvard. "It's
not obvious to me that there is a
clear Republican agenda in Congress right now with respect to
K-12 education, except for trying to
ensure that ESSA is implemented
in a way consistent with the intent
of the law of empowering states to
design accountability systems as
they see fit."
Regarding Trump's school choice
plan, for example, West noted that
a more limited pitch to allow students to take Title I funds, targeting disadvantaged students,
to the public or private schools of
their choice fell flat during negotiations to pass what ultimately
became ESSA. That's a bad sign
for a broader initiative like the one
Trump has put out, he said. (ESSA
does broaden access to grant
money distributed through the
federal Charter School Program.)
But uncertainty prevails, both
over what the new president will
take an interest in and how much
he will push to get education bills
and initiatives over the finish line.
Assistant Editor Alyson Klein
contributed to this article.
EDUCATION WEEK | November 16, 2016 | www.edweek.org | 23
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - November 16, 2016
Education Week - November 16, 2016
Few Women Run School Districts. Why?
Trump’s Lesson Plan Awaited
A Day After Election, Classes Are Awash in Emotions
News in Brief
States Found to Offer 95 Kinds of Diplomas
Black Teachers Feel Pigeonholed On the Job, Report Says
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Eager to Innovate: African-American Teenagers and Technology
Positive Climates May Shrink Achievement Gaps
Q&A: ‘You Just Do the Work’
Proposed ESSA Spending Rules Encounter Stiff Resistance
Oklahoma Schools Chief Facing Campaign-Finance Charges
Sharp Questions Posed In Service-Dog Case
SNAPSHOT: Title IX and Transgender Students: Some Key Developments Over 44 Years
Governors and Schools Chiefs Results
Ed. Policy on Simmer as GOP Holds Congress
GOP Solidifies Hold on State-Level Leadership
State Ballot Measures
In Mass., Voters Shun More Charter Schools
Bilingual Education Set to Return to California Schools
Education Department May Again Find Itself in GOP Cross Hairs
Teachers’ Unions Spend Big, Mostly Fall Short in Elections
SUSAN MOORE JOHNSON: To Decentralize or Not? Is That Even the Question?
JIM HAAS: Oh, the Humanity!
GREGG WEINLEIN: The School Friendship Challenge
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
GARY BEACH: Does the U.S. Department of Education Need to Be Restructured?
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - A Day After Election, Classes Are Awash in Emotions
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - 2
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - 3
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - News in Brief
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - Report Roundup
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - States Found to Offer 95 Kinds of Diplomas
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - Black Teachers Feel Pigeonholed On the Job, Report Says
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Eager to Innovate: African-American Teenagers and Technology
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - Positive Climates May Shrink Achievement Gaps
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - 10
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - 11
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - Q&A: ‘You Just Do the Work’
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - 13
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - 14
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - Oklahoma Schools Chief Facing Campaign-Finance Charges
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - Sharp Questions Posed In Service-Dog Case
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - SNAPSHOT: Title IX and Transgender Students: Some Key Developments Over 44 Years
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - GOP Solidifies Hold on State-Level Leadership
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - State Ballot Measures
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - Bilingual Education Set to Return to California Schools
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - 21
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - Teachers’ Unions Spend Big, Mostly Fall Short in Elections
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - Senate/House Results
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - SUSAN MOORE JOHNSON: To Decentralize or Not? Is That Even the Question?
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - JIM HAAS: Oh, the Humanity!
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - GREGG WEINLEIN: The School Friendship Challenge
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - Letters
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - 29
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - 30
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - 31
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - GARY BEACH: Does the U.S. Department of Education Need to Be Restructured?
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - CW1
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - CW2
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - CW3
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - CW4