Donald Trump on Education

2016 Republican incumbent President; 2000 Reform Primary Challenger for President


Parents should be able to fire the principal, elect another

I will fight for parents rights. Can you believe here we are? Because they took the rights away including universal school choice. We want the school principal to be elected by parents. We love the children more than the parents. If any principal is not getting this done, the parents should be able to fire the principal and elect someone new. We will teach our values and promote our history and traditions to our children. We will, in other words, be proud of our country again.
Source: Speech at the 2023 CPAC Conference in Maryland , Mar 4, 2023

We will completely defund and bar critical race theory

These people are sick. We will completely defund and bar critical race theory. 1776, not 1619, if you don't mind. And if government run schools are going to teach children to hate their country, we will demand school choice that we already have. If you listen to the media or watch the evening newscast, our country has really gone bad. All we talk about is race. That's all they talk about. Race. The whole show: race, race. We don't talk about our country being great anymore.
Source: Speech transcript from 2021 CPAC Conference , Jul 11, 2021

Open schools; most teachers are safe in pandemic

TRUMP: We have to open our country. We can't keep this country closed. He'll close down the country if one person in our massive bureaucracy says we should close it down. I want to open the schools. The transmittal rate to the teachers is very small.

BIDEN: By the way, all you teachers out there, "not that many of you are going to die, so don't worry about it. So don't worry about it." Come on!

Source: Third 2020 Presidential Debate, moderated by Kristen Welker , Oct 22, 2020

I got funding for HBCUs for ten years

Q: What about HCBUs?

BIDEN: I provide for a $70 billion for HBCUs for them to be able to have the wherewithal to do what other universities can do, because they don't have the kind of foundational support they need.

TRUMP: I have done more for the African American community than any president, with the exception of Abraham Lincoln. Criminal justice reform, prison reform, historically Black colleges and universities. I got them funded. They were on a year to year basis. They could have been put out of business. As soon as our country had a little bad year, they would have said, "I'm sorry, we're not going to fund you." I got them 10 year funding and financing. And more than they even asked for. And of course, opportunity zones. But criminal justice reform, everybody said it could not be done. President Obama and Biden never even tried to do it. I have a great relationship because of what I've done with the African-American community. I'm very proud of it.

Source: Second 2020 Presidential Debate/NBC Town Hall Miami , Oct 15, 2020

We're not going to fund schools if they don't open

Schools have to open [despite the coronavirus pandemic]. Young people have to go to school, and there's problems when you don't go to school, too. And there's going to be a funding problem because we're not going to fund--when they don't open their schools. We're not going to fund them. We're not going to give them money if they're not going to school. If they don't open.
Source: Fox News Sunday interview of 2020 presidential hopefuls , Jul 19, 2020

Defend free speech on college campuses

As the radical left moves aggressively to curtail freedom of speech, we are proudly defending free speech, including at our college campuses. Any college that refuses to respect your First Amendment rights now risk the loss of billions of federal taxpayer dollars. I signed that a few months ago because these colleges, they take our money and then they don't let people speak. So now they won't take our money, and I guess they can do whatever they want.
Source: Remarks by President Trump at the 2020 CPAC Conference , Feb 29, 2020

Constitutional right to pray in public schools

My Administration is also defending religious liberty, and that includes the Constitutional right to pray in public schools. In America, we do not punish prayer. We do not tear down crosses. We do not ban symbols of faith. We do not muzzle preachers and pastors. In America, we celebrate faith. We cherish religion. We lift our voices in prayer, and we raise our sights to the Glory of God!
Source: 2020 State of the Union address to Congress , Feb 4, 2020

Skeptical of use of affirmative action in college admissions

[In a case against Harvard University's affirmative action policy, a Justice Department] brief urged that courts should [reduce] consideration of race in admissions. Harvard has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and said the lawsuit is part of an ideological campaign to overturn Supreme Court rulings that allow affirmative action.

The action demonstrated anew the administration's deep skepticism of affirmative action in education. Under President Barack Obama, the Justice Department had made legal arguments in support of how colleges use race in admissions.

The Justice Department concluded: that Harvard has failed to explain exactly how it weighs race against other factors in an application; that Harvard uses a "personal rating" that may be biased against Asian Americans; and that "substantial evidence" indicates admissions officers monitor and manipulate the racial makeup of incoming classes, despite court rulings that have found "racial balancing" unconstitutional.

Source: Chicago Tribune on 2018 Trump Administration , Aug 30, 2018

Workforce development, job training, & vocational schools

We want every American to know the dignity of a hard day's work. We can lift our citizens from welfare to work, from dependence to independence, and from poverty to prosperity.

As tax cuts create new jobs, let us invest in workforce development and job training. Let us open great vocational schools so our future workers can learn a craft and realize their full potential. And let us support working families by supporting paid family leave.

Source: 2018 State of the Union address , Jan 30, 2018

No federal government profit from student loans

A four-year degree today can be expensive enough to create six-figure debt. We can't forgive these loans, but we should take steps to help students.

The big problem is the federal government. There is no reason the federal government should profit from student loans. This only makes an already difficult problem worse. The Federal Student Loan Program turned a $41.3 billion profit in 2013.

These student loans are probably one of the only things that the government shouldn't make money from, and yet it does. And do you think this has anything to do with why schools continue to raise their tuition every year? Those loans should be viewed as an investment in America's future.

Source: Crippled America, by Donald Trump, p. 58-9 , Nov 3, 2015

We spend more per student than any other nation

Source: Fordham Institute EduWatch 2016 by Brandon White , Jun 18, 2015

Cut the Department of Education way, way down

Source: Forbes Magazine "2016 Candidates Want You to Know" series , Jun 16, 2015

Opposes Common Core

Donald Trump doesn't think the GOP is demanding enough. "Republicans have to toughen up," Trump said in a speech at CPAC. "Toughen up on the IRS, toughen up on Benghazi, toughen up on everything."

Trump bashed Jeb Bush on education, who Trump said was "in favor of common core."

"I thought Romney could do it," Trump, who backed the candidate during the last election, said. "I don't want what happened to Mitt Romney to happen again."

Source: CBS News on 2015 Conservative Political Action Conf. , Feb 27, 2015

Common Core means Washington tells you what to study

Q: What's Donald Trump think about Common Core?

Trump: Well first of all, I think it's going to kill Bush, and I think that education should be local, absolutely. I think that for people in Washington to be setting curriculum and to be setting all sorts of standards for people living in Iowa and other places is ridiculous.

Q: Why is it going to kill Bush?

Trump: Because I think people don't want to have somebody from Washington looking down and saying this is what you're going to be studying.

Q: But do you think he's responsible for that part of it?

Trump: No, but he's responsible for supporting it."

Source: Hugh Hewitt radio interview on 2016 presidential hopefuls , Feb 25, 2015

Comprehensive education instead of limiting subjects

Comprehensive education dissolves the lines between knowing too much and knowing too little on a variety of subjects--subjects that are necessary for success. Recently, I interviewed a young man who was very well versed in his field of expertise and almost uneducated in every other subject. It was like he had tunnel vision, and although I admired his knowledge of his field, I had to realize that, considering the scope of my enterprises, he might not be a great fit because of his limited interests.
Source: Think Like a Champion, by Donald Trump, p. 47 , Apr 27, 2010

I'm big on education, for people of all ages

Everyone in my family knows I'm big on education--not just Ivy League education, but all education, and for people of all ages. That also applies to me, and while I got very good grades at school, I do not have time to be a scholar. Still, it's something I aspire to in my quiet time. Possibilities unfold. The world opens up.

My sister Maryanne introduced me to the writings of Aldous Huxley. He was such a learner that when he was faced with near-total blindness as a young man, he learned braille and continued his studies anyway. He could now read in bed at night and his hand would never get cold because he could read with his hands under the covers.

Learning begets learning. I'd rather be stimulated than passive.

Source: How to Get Rich, by Donald Trump, p. 33 , Mar 23, 2004

Donald Trump on Trump University

Declared art deco wall "without artistic merit"

The Trump Towers opened with a great fanfare in 1983. From his reportedly unfair treatment of undocumented workers who built it, to the alleged mob involvement, the project was steeped in controversy. The affronts culminated in the destruction of the beautiful Art Deco limestone reliefs on the facade of the Bonwit Teller Building, which he razed to make room for his. Donald had promised those historically significant artifacts to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Realizing that moving them all in one piece would cost money, and slow down construction, he instead ordered that they be destroyed. When confronted with that breach of taste, he shrugged it off, declaring the sculptures to be "without artistic merit," as if he knew better than the assessment of experts. Over time, that attitude that he knew better became entrenched: as his knowledge base had decreased, his claims to knowing everything increased to his direct proportion of insecurity, which is where we are now.
Source: Too Much and Never Enough, by Mary Trump, p.133 , Jul 14, 2020

Trump U: effort to educate the masses in his style

Trump's crucial insight was to create an empire--a series of entities that bore his name, but didn't rely on his cash. His business was the brand. Few of his branded venture received as much notice as, or created more controversy than, Trump's effort to educate the masses in his style.

Not long after his new university opened, the real estate market softened, then tanked. Rather than close shop, Trump's university pivoted. Now it would teach people how to make money in a depressed market. "Learn from Donald Trump's handpicked experts how you can profit from the largest real estate liquidation in history," read one Trump University ad.

Sales pressure was intense.

"Find it, flip it, forget about it," instructors told potential students at a free seminar on investing in property with little or no money down.

Source: Trump Revealed, by Michael Kranish & Mark Fisher, p.224-5 , Aug 23, 2016

FactCheck: More than figurehead at Trump U

One key issue in the ongoing class-action lawsuits against Trump University is whether Donald Trump was just a figurehead (and any responsibility for wrongdoing is on his subordinates) or instead was personally involved (and any responsibility for wrongdoing is on him).

Our conclusion: Trump was involved in guiding Trump U in the same manner he guides any real estate development project. Trump doesn't do any construction on his buildings: he designs them and oversees implementation. Similarly, he designed a lot of Trump U and oversaw its operations.

One strong piece of evidence is the location of Trump U--at 40 Wall Street. That building is featured in its own chapter in Donald's book "The Art of the Comeback" (1997)--Donald worked for years on that building. Donald located Trump U at the jewel in the crown of the Trump empire--he meant Trump U not as just a money-making venture, but as a showpiece for his name. Trump U may have failed, but Donald Trump intended it to succeed.

Source: OnTheIssues FactCheck on Trump 101, by Donald Trump , Jun 9, 2016

Founded Trump University to teach the art of deal-making

Back in 2005, he started an online school called Trump University to teach the art of deal-making, but it didn't offer degrees. The New York Department of Education complained and he changed the name to Trump Entrepreneur Initiative in 2010.
Source: Forbes Magazine "2016 Candidates Want You to Know" series , Jun 16, 2015

I'm deeply and actively involved in Trump University

I have a real passion for learning. My books and my professional experience always included a strong education or "lessons learned" slant. This book is a collection of my beliefs and about business and life-my basic rules and principles. It also contains questions submitted to me on the Trump University blog and my answers.

Another purpose of this book is to introduce you to Trump University, which grew out of my desire to impart the business knowledge I accumulated over the years and to find a practical, convenient way to teach success. Trump University doesn't just bear my name; I'm actively involved in it. I participated in creating the curricula, and my words, ideas, and image have been woven into the courses we provide.

I'm deeply and actively involved in Trump University because I firmly believe in the power of education and its function as an engine of success. I want to help people, and, simply put, the Trump University students want to be successful. I'm on their side.

Source: Trump 101, by Donald Trump, p. xix-xx , Oct 20, 2006

Donald Trump on Vouchers

Biden has sold out America's children to the teachers unions

There's no reason whatsoever why the vast majority of young Americans should not be back in school immediately. The only reason that most parents do not have that choice is because Joe Biden has sold out America's children to the teacher's unions. His position is morally inexcusable. Joe Biden has shamefully betrayed America's youth. He is cruelly keeping our children locked in their homes. They want to get out. They're cheating the next generations out of the future that they deserve.
Source: Remarks by Pres. Trump at the 2021 CPAC Conference , Feb 28, 2021

I will expand charter schools & choice for every family

Biden vowed to oppose School Choice and close down Charter Schools, ripping away the ladder of opportunity for Black and Hispanic children. In a second term, I will EXPAND charter schools and provide SCHOOL CHOICE to every family in America. And we will always treat our teachers with the tremendous respect they deserve.
Source: Speech at 2020 Republican National Convention , Aug 28, 2020

Opportunity Scholarships for 1M trapped in failing schools

[We should make] sure that every young American gets a great education and the opportunity to achieve the American Dream. Yet, for too long, countless American children have been trapped in failing government schools. To rescue these students, 18 States have created school choice in the form of Opportunity Scholarships. The programs are so popular, that tens of thousands of students remain on waiting lists.

One of those students is Janiyah Davis, a fourth grader from Philadelphia. Last year, Pennsylvania's Governor vetoed legislation to expand school choice for 50,000 children. Janiyah, I proudly announce tonight that an Opportunity Scholarship has become available, it is going to you, and you will soon be heading to the school of your choice!

Now, I call on the Congress to give 1 million American children the same opportunity. Pass the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act--because no parent should be forced to send their child to a failing government school.

Source: 2020 State of the Union address to Congress , Feb 4, 2020

School choice is civil rights issue of our time

To achieve the future [we envision], we must enrich the mind--and the souls--of every American child. Education is the civil rights issue of our time. I am calling upon Members of both parties to pass an education bill that funds school choice for disadvantaged youth, including millions of African-American and Latino children. These families should be free to choose the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school that is right for them.
Source: 2017 State of the Union address to Congress , Feb 28, 2017

Call them vouchers or scholarships; I call it competition

Q: Do you agree that free-market competition for education dollars, rather than a government monopoly, would create a better education for all students?

Trump: "Our public schools are capable of providing a more competitive product than they do today. Look at some of the high school tests from earlier in this century and you'll wonder if they weren't college-level tests. And we've got to bring on the competition -open the schoolhouse doors and let parents choose the best school for their children. Education reformers call this school choice, charter schools, vouchers, even opportunity scholarships. I call it competition--the American way."

Clinton: Does not like voucher programs. While she does support school choice as it exists as a form of public education, Clinton has always been opposed to allowing public funds to be used toward private and religious schools. As a New York Senator, Hillary Clinton voted against voucher programs in the state in 2001.

Source: 2016 AFA Action iVoterGuide on 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 8, 2016

Disadvantaged students are trapped in failing schools

I have outlined a new civil rights agenda for our time--the right to a safe community, a great education & a secure job. School choice is at the center of this civil rights agenda, and my goal is to provide every single inner-city child in America that is trapped in a failing government school the freedom to attend the school of their choice. Competition--the schools the schools will get better and better. And that means a private school, a religious school, a charter school or a magnet school. School choice also means that parents can home-school their children.

Hillary Clinton opposes school choice--her policies will force millions of African-American and Hispanic children to remain stuck in failed government schools, leading to higher unemployment and more poverty. My plan will break the government monopoly and make schools compete to provide the best services for our children including every African-American and Hispanic child in this country, every single one of them.

Source: 11th Annual Value Voters Summit - 2016 , Sep 9, 2016

Money follows student to public, private or religious school

This proposal [for competition to improve public schools] begins with a $20 billion block grant from the federal government for states to pursue school choice programs. However, because 90% of education spending is at the state level, I will campaign to get the states to reallocate another $110 billion of their education budgets to school choice programs.

If we do this, that would mean $12,000 in school choice funds for every disadvantaged student in America. The money will follow the student to the public, private or religious school that is best for them and their family. In so many ways, you're going to have choice.

My administration will partner with anybody in the inner cities of America willing to run a pilot program--to provide school choice to every child in that community. As your president, I will be the biggest cheerleader for school choice you've ever seen, because I know it can turn things around. Common Core--we're going to end it. We're bringing education local.

Source: 11th Annual Value Voters Summit - 2016 , Sep 9, 2016

Let schools compete: charters, vouchers, and magnets

Competition is why I'm very much in favor of school choice. Let schools compete for kids. I guarantee that if you forced schools to get better or close because parents didn't want to enroll their kids there, they would get better. Those schools that weren't good enough to attract students would close, and that's a good thing.

For two decades I've been urging politicians to open the schoolhouse doors and let parents decide which schools are best for their children. Professional educators look to claim that doing so would be the end of good public schools. Better charter or magnet schools would drain the top kids out of that system, or hurt the morale of those left behind. Suddenly, the excellence that comes from competition is being criticized.

Source: Crippled America, by Donald Trump, p. 53-4 , Nov 3, 2015

Bring on the competition; tear down the union walls

Our public schools have grown up in a competition-free zone, surrounded by a very high union wall. Why arenít we shocked at the results? After all, teachersí unions are motivated by the same desires that move the rest of us. With more than 85% of their soft-money donations going to Democrats, teachersí unions know they can count on the politician they back to take a strong stand against school choice.

Our public schools are capable of providing a more competitive product than they do today. Look at some of the high school tests from earlier in this century and youíll wonder if they werenít college-level tests. And weíve got to bring on the competition -open the schoolhouse doors and let parents choose the best school for their children.

Education reformers call this school choice, charter schools, vouchers, even opportunity scholarships. I call it competition-the American way.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p. 80-81 , Jul 2, 2000

School choice will improve public schools

Defenders of the status quo insist that parental choice means the end of public schools. Letís look at the facts. Right now, nine of ten children attend public schools. If you look at public education as a business- and with nearly $300 billion spent each year on K-through-twelve education, itís a very big business indeed-it would set off every antitrust alarm bell at the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. When teachersí unions say even the most minuscule program allowing school choice is a mortal threat, theyíre saying: If we arenít allowed to keep 90% of the market, we canít survive. When Bell Telephone had 90% of the market, a federal judge broke it up.

Whoís better off? The kids who use vouchers to go to the school of their choice, or the ones who choose to stay in public school? All of them. Thatís the way it works in a competitive system.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p. 83 , Jul 2, 2000

Supports vouchers to let parents choose public or private school.

Trump supports the CC survey question on school vouchers

The Christian Coalition Voter Guide inferred whether candidates agree or disagree with the statement, 'Education vouchers that allow parents to choose a public or private school for their children' The Christian Coalition notes, "You can help make sure that voters have the facts BEFORE they cast their votes. We have surveyed candidates in the most competitive congressional races on the issues that are important to conservatives."

Source: Christian Coalition Survey 16_CC7 on Nov 8, 2016

Other candidates on Education: Donald Trump on other issues:
2024 Republican Presidential Candidates:
Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND)
Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ)
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL)
Larry Elder (R-CA;withdrew)
Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC)
Rep. Will Hurd (R-FL;withdrew)
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR)
Perry Johnson (R-IL)
Mayor Steve Laffey (R-RI)
Former V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN;withdrew)
Vivek Ramaswamy (R-OH)
Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)
Secy. Corey Stapleton (R-MT)
Mayor Francis Suarez (R-FL;withdrew)
Former Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)

2024 Democratic and 3rd-party primary candidates:
Pres. Joe Biden (D-DE)
V.P.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (I-NY)
Chase Oliver (L-GA)
Rep.Dean Phillips (D-MN)
Jill Stein (Green)
Cornel West (Green Party)
Kanye West (Birthday Party)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
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