Donald Trump Has the Beginnings of a Good Idea for Public Education

FILE - In this Feb. 27, 2016 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump pauses during while speaking at a rally in Millington, Tenn. Tough talk about torture is a guaranteed applause line for Donald Trump on the GOP presidential stump. Trump has repeatedly advocated waterboarding, an enhanced interrogation technique that simulates the feeling of drowning. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

To Donald Trump’s credit, which is a group of words that actually caused me physical pain, there seems to be some spark of a good idea when it comes to education policy. Via The Hill:

Trump’s first budget would use $20 billion to create a block grant for every impoverished school-aged child in the country, according to a fact sheet released by his campaign.

That way, federal dollars could follow students to whatever school parents enroll them in — public, charter or private.

While he wasn’t as delicate about it as perhaps others might be, Trump did do the right thing here by framing it as a civil rights issue. Education, after all, is perhaps the single greatest civil rights issue facing children – particularly minority children – today.

“There’s no failed policy more in need of urgent change than our government-run education monopoly,” he said, arguing that school choice would create a competitive education market that benefits students.

“The Democratic Party has trapped millions of African-American and Hispanic youth in failing government schools that deny them the opportunity to join the ladder of American success.”

If you’re looking to make a big change in the way education is run in America, a block grant is a good start. It’s not perfect, and there is opportunity for fraud, but it is a start, and it shows that there are some domestic issues that Trump can actually be correct about.

Some details – how it gets funded, for example – remain unclear. But he isn’t president yet, and there is still time to consult people who actually know things and maybe get something a little more detailed together. Hillary Clinton wants schools to raise our children for us. At least Trump (or someone advising him) recognizes that it is a big issue that we really need to focus on.

So, there’s that.