During Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, he promised that, if elected, he would help inner cities, especially the urban poor. He also promised to improve school choice and education opportunities, a sure path to helping people break the cycle of poverty. “Apparently, it wasn’t just talk,” writes Jason L. Riley in the WSJ.
According to the Washington Post, Donald Trump is the first sitting president since Ronald Reagan in 1984 to visit to a Catholic school, “a clear signal that the Trump administration intends to push forward with expanding school choice as a key priority.”
That’s welcome news to millions of low-income minority parents nationwide who have long expressed overwhelming support for reforms that would free their children to matriculate at schools not controlled by teachers unions.
Unlike former President Obama, who professed to support school choice—but only those education choices approved by the teachers unions that bankroll the Democratic Party—President Trump’s meaning of school choice differs. Trump’s take is “parents get to decide—not the president or special-interest groups.” As Mr. Riley notes, “In practice, the Obama administration worked to shut down voucher programs in Washington and elsewhere and thus reduce choice for the disadvantaged.”
Mr. Riley points out that the Trump administration is also working in other ways to help underprivileged communities, (who for decades have been under the thumb of the Democratic Party). Dr. Ben Carson, who has been approved as head of HUD, promises to go on a “listening tour” of the country.
A primary function of the Housing and Urban Development Department is to oversee various rental-assistance programs for people in need. How these HUD initiatives are administered at the federal and local levels can have a major impact on the life outcomes of our most vulnerable citizens.
As someone who was raised in poverty before becoming a world-renowned brain surgeon, Mr. Carson knows that his background differs greatly from that of the typical Washington bureaucrat, let alone cabinet secretary. In some respects this means he will bring a different perspective to the task. But it also means that he has his work cut out for him. During his confirmation hearing, Mr. Carson said that in preparation for the new job he would go on a “listening tour” of the country. Instead of talking only to “the sage people of D.C.,” he quipped, “I want to hear from people with boots on the ground who are administering programs.” Imagine that.
Yes, the media and elites from Washington to the glitzy halls of Hollywood will continue to “focus on delegitimizing Mr. Trump and his cabinet appointees,” explains Mr. Riley. “But education and housing are top concerns for struggling communities, and the president’s actions to date are an indication that he believes in helping people help themselves.”
Read more here.