NCLD Statement on Trump’s Detailed FY 2018 Budget Proposal

Mimi Corcoran, President & CEO, National Center for Learning Disabilities:
President Trump’s FY 2018 Education Budget a Missed Opportunity

The National Center for Learning Disabilities is deeply troubled by President Trump’s budget proposal. The President’s plan cuts billions from federal education funding and healthcare services, thwarting innovation and eliminating longstanding initiatives that students, families and educators rely on.

By eliminating funding for key programs included in the bi-partisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) – such as those aimed at ensuring educators are prepared to meet the needs of students and providing safe and supportive learning environments through access to professionals like guidance counselors and well-rounded education programs – the Trump Administration has missed a critical opportunity to foster success for our nation’s 50 million public school students, including the 1 in 5 with learning and attention issues.

Furthermore, the budget proposal provides no additional investment in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which protects the rights of more than 6 million students with disabilities and has been underfunded for decades. And its $800 billion decrease for Medicaid will further erode the resources schools have to provide necessary services to students – those with and without disabilities.

Put simply, the President’s budget dismisses the needs of public school students, parents, and educators by investing in unproven, controversial programs – like private school voucher schemes –  that often strip children with disabilities from their IDEA rights and result in hidden costs to their families.  These misguided attempts at addressing our nation’s education system should be replaced with a commitment from the President to invest in programs that improve public schools, including helping teachers understand the early signs of and interventions for the 1 in 5 students with learning and attention issues; supporting access to rigorous, personalized learning opportunities for all students; and increasing opportunities that support the whole child – such as the availability of guidance counselors, before- and after-school enrichment programs, and arts and science education.

NCLD will urge Congress to reject this harmful plan and calls on Education Secretary DeVos to use her upcoming testimony on May 24th to explain how these cuts will help our nation’s schools and children grow, thrive and succeed.

NCLD stands ready to work with leaders in Congress to pass a thoughtful budget that incentivizes innovation, supports students and teachers, and will help our schools address the diverse needs and demands of 21st century classrooms.

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Full text statement available here.

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