Search form

What Education Will Look Like Under Donald Trump: 5 Things You Need to Know

Donald Trump has been officially declared the 45th President of the United States, leaving those interested in education wondering--what’s next?

Here are five things you need to know about education under a Donald Trump presidency.


1. He Supports School Choice

Throughout his campaign, Trump was largely considered a wild card when it came to education policy because he had spoken very little about the subject.

In early September, that all changed when Trump unveiled a $20 billion school choice plan.

Calling school choice the major civil rights issue of our time, the proposal establishes $20 billion in federal grants for poor children to attend the school of their choice.

Proponents of school choice programs say it allows families to have the ultimate decision in selecting the best education for their child, particularly in areas where public schools are underperforming but nearby charter and magnet school aren’t.

Opponents say school choice programs take money from public schools, forcing children who opt to go to these schools to suffer even further.

School choice is part of the Republican Party platform, but Trump might have difficulty backing sweeping reform as the latest education legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act, was passed without school choice measures included. 

2. Funding to the Department of Education is at Risk

In line with the Republican outlook, Trump believes that funding to the Department of Education should be significantly reduced or even done away with all together to restore local control of education.

"We want to bring education local so we're going to be cutting the Department of Education big league because we're running our education from Washington D.C., which is ridiculous, instead of running it out of Miami or running it out of the different place that we have so many people," Trump said to

Threats to cutting funding to the Department of Education have been occurring for years, meaning that Trump’s declarations don’t necessarily guarantee action.

If he does happen to follow through with his plans, the Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAPAF) analyzed just what would happen if the Department of Education was eliminated. CAPAF found that over 8 million disadvantaged students would lose funding opportunities, over 490,000 teaching position would be lost, and the education of rural students, disabled students, and English Language Learners would suffer from billions of lost funding dollars.

3. His Opposition to Common Core is Unlikely to Have an Effect on Its Status

From early on in his presidential run, Trump discussed his disdain for the Common Core Standards, which he denoted as education through Washington. Like his Republican peers, his support of local education has led him to denounce any kind of regulation from the federal government, including a national set of standards. Despite his passionate rejection of the standards, however, Common Core is now here to stay for as long as states say so.

While Common Core was initially incentivized by Obama’s Race to the Top initiative, it is now illegal for the federal government to incentivize either for or against a state's standards choice.

So, while Trump may hate Common Core, his hands are tied.

4. Ben Carson Might Be Chosen as Education Secretary

Though his own run for president was unsuccessful, Carson might make a return to the national forefront as Donald Trump’s Secretary of Education.

“I was most impressed with his views on education. It’s a strength. It’s a tremendous strength,” Trump said of Carson last March, setting off rumors that Carson would advise Trump in education matters later on in some capacity.

Trump is not answering questions about his cabinet selections just yet, so only time will tell.

Update: Michigan school choice advocate Betsy DeVos has instead been nominated instead after Ben Carson reportedly turned down the role. 

5. Affordable Child Care is One of His Priorities

While Trump has remained relatively mum about his education agenda from a general standpoint, he threw support behind affordable child care early on his campaign.

Many are optimistic that his support of affordable child care will lead to him also being a champion of quality early education.

You can read the details of his plan here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor


Latest Education News
Read about the latest news in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
Read about the latest news in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
Read about the latest news in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
Read about the latest news in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
Teachers around the country are weighing the merits and potential fallout of engaging in politically-charged class...