Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, applauded the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday for rejecting various cuts to education programs proposed by the Trump administration as well as rejecting funding for more school choice programs.
Teachers unions have long opposed such funding, most of which goes to private, non-union schools.
"Big deal — Senate panel rejects Trump's teacher-funding cuts and school choice proposals," Weingarten tweeted Thursday after the committee marked up the annual funding bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education. She followed that with several other tweets, calling it an "Important rejection of @BetsyDeVosED and @realDonaldTrump's anti-public education agenda- by Senate budgeteers."
The legislation includes $68 billion for the Education Department, a marginal increase from the previous year, but a major bump up from the $59 billion that the Trump administration had requested. It includes $2 billion for Title II, a federal teacher training program that Trump had proposed scrapping. By contrast, the budget did not include a $1 billion boost the president wanted in funding for Title 1 grants, which funds school choice programs.
"This bill upholds important investments in programs that affect all Americans. It continues support for medical research, funding flexibility for states to improve education, and job training opportunities for the unemployed or underemployed," said Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran, R-Miss.