It’s over. Finally. Now we all return to calm, reasoned litigation of important issues and cat videos, right? Just kidding, I never liked cat videos anyway.
But seriously, now Donald Trump must shift attention away from winning the election to the business of governing. The President-elect and his transition team must translate all those vague platitudes and pledges to fix our nation’s ills into actual policies and plans, and then select people to lead those efforts.
This summer after the conventions, Bellwether published a collection of 16 education policy ideas for the next president. The collection ranges in topics and ideological perspectives — its intention was to provide actionable ideas that could appeal to either campaign and jump start the creation of an education agenda no matter who prevailed on November 8.
Now that we know who will occupy the oval office in January, the next question is how will President-elect Trump’s plans for education shape up.
Throughout the election, the Trump campaign’s primary education focus was school choice. Based on that priority, we think several 16 for 16 suggestions would align well with a Trump administration education agenda centered on creating more education options and empowering families:
- Providing federal support to spur development of a range of school options across sectors, public and private (Chapter 12)
- Doubling down on the successes of the Charter School Program to seed more autonomous public schools (Chapter 1)
- Adapting the successful federal incentives program that drives private investment and development of affordable housing to encourage private investment in charter school facilities (Chapter 10)
- Empowering families to create and influence schools that meet their children’s and their communities’ particular needs (Chapter 15)
There are a host of other ideas in our collection that would enable better federal support for students in all our public schools — ranging from the expansion of proven mentoring programs to healthier food for students in the federal government’s multi-billion dollar National School Lunch program. Some ideas are nuts and bolts, good government plays (improving the way the Department of Education holds grantees accountable for results), while others are more cutting edge and innovative (bringing the technology underpinning Bitcoin into the education data space).
The bottom line is there’s a lot of food for thought to fill in the blanks left from an election cycle that was focused elsewhere. We invite President-elect Trump and his transition team to take a look as they develop the next generation of federal education priorities — the 16 for 16 contributors have teed up a rolling start.