"Build Schools, Not Walls" campaign hopes to influence Trump's budget | Michigan Radio

"Build Schools, Not Walls" campaign hopes to influence Trump's budget

Apr 18, 2017

Public education advocates and some Democrats are teaming up to convince President Trump to change his budget priorities.

The "Build Schools, Not Walls" campaign wants Trump to divert money and attention away from his plan to build a wall at the country's southern border and invest more in public education instead.

Over the next two weeks, this national campaign will publish reports with information about public school funding and Trump's budget. At a press conference announcing the launch of the campaign on Tuesday, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell of Michigan's 12th district said public education needs to be a bigger priority in Washington.

“We need to be investing in early childhood education, teacher training, and afterschool learning programs,” Dingell said.

Randi Weingarten is the president of the American Federation of Teachers, one of the organizations coordinating the campaign. She said President Trump should listen to what the people want. And according to her, that's not a wall. 

Trump's budget includes cutting education funding by over $9 billion. Homeland Security estimates the border wall will cost about $21 billion to build.

Weingarten feels that education deserves more attention in Trump’s budget.

“Because Mr. Trump is so concerned with what he believes is right, as opposed to what the people believe is right, we must take to the streets to demonstrate the will of the people,” she said.