On Thursday, President Donald Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, had the audacity to defend the White House’s decision to cut $1.2 billion from after-school programs and summer schools. The director of the Office of Management and Budget told a bald-faced lie when he claimed there is no evidence that these programs help needy kids.
Mulvaney told the press,
“They’re supposed to be educational programs, right? That’s what they’re supposed to do. They’re supposed to help kids who don’t get fed at home, get fed so that they do better at school. Guess what? There’s no demonstrable evidence they’re actually doing that. There’s no demonstrable evidence they’re actually helping results, helping kids do better at school.”
Even if what he said is true – it’s blatantly false – does Trump’s White House seriously think that providing poor children with childcare and food is only worthwhile if they get good grades?
According to the latest available data from the Department of Education, after-school programs have outstanding results when it comes to improving needy kids’ academic performance.
Fully half of students who participated in Community Learning Centers improved homework completion and class participation. Over one third improved their grades in math and English.
The Center for Disease Control authoritatively states that feeding kids does improve academic performance. In a 2014 report it stated,
“Hunger due to insufficient food intake is associated with lower grades, higher rates of absenteeism, repeating a grade, and an inability to focus among students.”
When Mulvaney said, “When we took your money from you to say, ‘Look, we’re going to go spend it on an after-school program,’ the way we justified it was, ‘These programs are going to help these kids do better at school and get better jobs. And we can’t prove that that’s happening,” he couldn’t have been farther from the truth.
Jodi Grant, Executive Director of the Afterschool Alliance advocacy group, says that the Trump budget cuts constitute “a betrayal” of millions of students and parents.
“This proposal would devastate working families. It is painfully short-sighted and makes a mockery of the President’s promise to make our country safer and to support inner cities and rural communities alike.”
Trump continues to betray his hard working supporters across the country, the people he promised that he would stick up for. Trump and his White House cronies are a manipulative con artists who have no qualms telling lies that sellout children’s futures to special interests.
There are no words that can adequately describe this cruelty. Call your congresspeople, let them know that the American people want to protect our children and give them a future.
Marisa completed her undergraduate degree in 2013 at the University of Wisconsin with a double major in creative writing and media studies. She is an advocate of progressive policies and focuses her interests on gender equality and preventing sexual and domestic violence.