By 2020, many school districts in the U.S. will be offering free internet, online lessons and other public services for the first time, and it will all be done in the name of public education, with a mix of charter schools, voucher schools, and traditional public schools.
The idea of universal education, which President-elect Donald Trump promised during the 2016 election, is now in its third year.
It was initially conceived as a response to the Great Recession, when many Americans struggled to find a quality education and the federal government responded with a number of programs, including a $1 trillion federal stimulus, aimed at making college affordable for all.
Since then, the idea of free public education has been embraced by many progressive political parties and civil rights groups, which have advocated for the use of public money to fund public education for many years.
In 2017, President-Elect Bernie Sanders introduced the “Better Deals for America Act,” which called for “the full reinvention of public schools” to ensure “every child has access to quality, affordable public education.”
While the plan has been successful in getting support from some conservatives, it has not gone over well with Democrats.
“In a country where more than half of our children are living in poverty, it is critical that we make sure that public schools are the places where every child has the opportunity to grow and learn,” said Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., in a statement after the bill was introduced.
“I am excited to see how this legislation is going to evolve in the years to come.”
While some have called the plan a step in the right direction, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, which controls both the White House and the Senate, has blocked several bills related to the issue, including one from Rep. Dan Donovan, R-N.Y., that would create a new school district that would provide free internet in all public schools, free tutoring, and free library access.
Donovan’s bill has also been blocked by the Republican Governors Association, which opposes “advocating charter schools or vouchers,” and Rep. Mike Rogers, R, Al.
The bill, known as the Higher Education Act of 2019, has been called “the most ambitious public education plan in history,” by the advocacy group Progressive Policy Institute.
But its passage has not been without its critics.
Rep. Mark Meadows, R of North Carolina, has called the bill “unconscionable” and a “slush fund for charter schools,” and Sen. Tom Cotton, R -Ark., who has a long history of opposing charter schools and vouchers, said the legislation “sets back progress by decades.”
“If we were truly committed to ensuring that every child gets the best education, then we would have already begun to implement it,” Cotton said in a March 19 statement.
“Instead, the federal governments’ support for charter and voucher schools has been funneled through the UCCB, which has been the vehicle for federal funding of nearly all education reform in the United States since 1990.”
In addition to being the most expensive school funding plan ever, the legislation is also one of the most unpopular, with critics arguing that it will not be enough to fix what many see as a broken education system.
“The federal government should not be subsidizing the creation of charter, voucher, and other hybrid schools,” said Rep. John Lewis, D -Ga., who also sits on the House Education and the Workforce Committee.
“It is our responsibility to educate our children.
This bill should not stand.
It is a gift to private schools, to charters, and to the worst parts of the nation’s public schools.””
The American Dream is not to have a single-payer system.
It should not have a private school system,” he said.
“But the American Dream should be to have our children have access to education, to be able to do something in their life that we could not do if we didn’t have access.”
In the short term, the bill would help create more than 4,000 new public school districts, according to the National Education Association, and allow for more than 1,000 charter schools to open in 2019.
It would also give states flexibility in how to distribute funding between schools, allowing districts to choose to have more charters or voucher schools.
But critics say the bill does not go far enough in creating a better education.
“What the bill will do is take money that would be allocated to other programs, such as K-12 education, and transfer it to the school district to create new charter schools.
That’s not enough.
It will not create a quality public education,” said Andrew Sullivan, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
“So while the bill makes sense for certain reasons, I am concerned about the implications it will have for charter school schools.”
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the higher education bill would cost the federal treasury $2.