For everyone actively involved in resisting Trump’s malfeasance and the Republican leaderships’ dangerous agenda, it is easy to get caught up in the daily actions needed to thwart disaster. We certainly have enough raw material coming out of the White House and Congress to keep our attention focused. It appears that our recent actions have paid off this week with the appointment of Robert Mueller as Special Prosecutor to investigate the Trump campaign’s collusion with Russia. That was a victory won by our persistence.
As a retired principal and regular substitute teacher, though, I’ve started to look around at the students I work with and wonder “What about the kids?” It gives me a motivation that might be easy to lose otherwise. The students I work with are not from wealth or privilege. While their parents may have been under the illusion when they voted that Trump would work for their best interests, we know that is not the case.
These are only some of the many ways that children will be hurt by proposals in the budget or by other actions being taken by the White House and Congress. :
- $9.2 Billion cut to the federal education budget in 2018. Included in that cut, elimination of the 21st Century Community Learning Center Program which provides after-school and summer enrichment programs for students in impoverished communities (The Hill)
- Cutting the EPA’s budget by 31%, eliminating many of the regulatory programs that have improved air quality and standards that protect kids from pollutants and toxic substances (CNN)
- Ending more than 50 EPA programs that were designed specifically to combat climate change. (Romper)
- Severe cuts to Medicaid will impact the nearly 35 million children get their health care through Medicaid or the associated Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) (Medicaid.gov)
- Eliminating the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) that provides assistance to heat homes. (NY Daily News)
- Eliminating the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program and slashing Pell grants (NY Daily News)
- Easing School Nutrition Guidelines which will result in less healthy school meals (NY Times)
- Increasing and destabilizing fears of deportation (The Washington Post and APA)
- The American Health Care Act (AHCA) which was recently passed by the House of Representatives would allow states to change protections for pre-existing conditions, severely impacting children and families. (Money)
As a nation our moral measure can be taken by our actions. Do we choose to continue to enrich those who are already wealthy beyond understanding, as current proposals would do, or do we share in protecting our most vulnerable neighbors, including our children? Protecting our children provides the motivation for me to stay the course.