On Tuesday, President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget was unveiled, and it slashes funding for the Education Department by 13.5 percent.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said in a statement that it “reflects a series of tough choices we have had to make when assessing the best use of taxpayer money. It ensures funding for programs with proven results for students while taking a hard look at programs that sound nice but simply haven’t yielded the desired outcomes.”
However, critics said it goes against what President Trump’s campaign promised: to make college more affordable at a time when student debt is ballooning.
“Donald Trump ran as a populist, but he is a governing as an elitist and this budget is a clear indication of that,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers.
This first budget seeks to save over $1 billion by eliminating subsidized student loans. The government pays the interest while undergraduate students who qualify remain in college. The current interest rate is 3.76 percent and students can borrow up to $23,000 during their four years in college.
Former Education Secretary John King called Trump’s budget “an assault on the American dream” and said it will make it harder for students to attend and finish college. “They are harming the long-term future not just of students but also of the country,” he told The Associated Press.