April 27, 2017

Los Angeles, CA- Please attribute this statement on Donald Trump’s executive order requiring the U.S. Department to review federal oversight of K-12 education policies to Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund):

"The April 26, 2017 Executive Order on 'Enforcing Statutory Prohibitions on Federal Control of Education' is either a stunning and unanticipated rejection of the Trump Administration's expected efforts to promote vouchers, or yet another demonstration of this Administration's inability to articulate a consistent policy philosophy in any area. The simple and undeniable fact is that no policy initiative would more threaten the articulated commitment to 'protect and preserve State and local control' over education than federal coercion, through incentive or mandate, of states and localities to implement voucher programs to turn educational control over to private entities. This means that we can either expect Secretary DeVos to resign over Donald Trump's apparent wholesale rejection of her pro-voucher agenda, or we can look forward to a spectacular ongoing episode of 'Policy Dancing with the Stars' as Trump and DeVos try to explain how a voucher promotion policy can be squared with this Executive Order. Trump and DeVos should find an education policy and stick with it. At a minimum, history tells us that any successful policy must incorporate a vigorous federal role in monitoring and oversight of equal educational opportunity nationwide. To the extent the Executive Order seeks to retreat from that obligation, both Trump and DeVos need to enroll in remedial school on history and constitutional law."

Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the "Latino Legal Voice for Civil Rights in America" MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit:

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