State education secretary concerned about Trump's proposed cuts

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Apr 10, 2017 12:43 PM
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(Harrisburg) -- President Donald Trump's proposed budget slashes billions from teacher training and after school programs.

If Trump's budget is approved as is, more than $2 billion would be cut from teacher training, and more than $1 billion from before and after school programs.

State Education Secretary Pedro Rivera says without training paid for by the federal government, teachers would fall behind.

But Rivera is particularly alarmed at the thought that afterschool programs could be eliminated.

Speaking on WITF's Smart Talk, he says the setup is especially important for districts that serve students in need.

"That's a serious concern. I mean, that's the time where we connect with kids, and we provide intervention, or we provide enrichment to help build those skills," says Rivera. "In many school districts that have been forced to cut art, music, humanities classes over course of the past decade, they are the opportunities where we get to bring partners in to provide art, music instruction."

Rivera says parents would also have to scramble - many are working and can't afford child care.

Trump's proposed budget does boost funding for high-need districts through a separate program, and adds money for charter schools and an initiative similar to private school vouchers.

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