Student Well-Being

Schwarzenegger Slams President Trump’s Plan to Slash After-School Funding

By Marva Hinton — April 05, 2017 3 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger took some shots at President Trump today during a national after-school summit in Los Angeles.

“President Trump promised us that he wants to make America great again,” Schwarzenegger said of his fellow Republican. “That’s not how you make America great—by taking $1.2 billion away from the children and robbing them blind. Why would you want to balance the budget on the backs of those kids? Kids are the most vulnerable citizens. Kids are our future. We need them. That’s why I say every time that you spend money on those kids wisely you get it back 10 times over.”

Schwarzenegger was referring to the president’s proposed federal budget, which would eliminate the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program. The program supports after-school and summer programs for students in low-income communities. Cutting it would save $1.2 billion.

Schwarzenegger, who starred in such films as “The Terminator” and “Total Recall” before entering politics, also vowed to lobby to keep those funds in the budget. He called the crowd of advocates for after-school programs, “crusaders, warriors, and terminators.”

“We’re going to go to Washington,” Schwarzenegger said. “We’re not going to take this lying down. We’re going to talk to the Democrats and the Republicans because this is not a party issue.”

Schwarzenegger was speaking during the “Ready to Work: How After-school Programs Prepare Students for the Challenges of the 21st Century Workforce” summit, which was hosted by the USC (University of Southern California) Schwarzenegger Institute in partnership with Afterschool Alliance and the After-School All-Stars. The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation supported the event.

During a conversation with Van Jones, the host of CNN’s “The Messy Truth,” Schwarzenegger discussed his upbringing in Austria where he grew up with a stay-at-home mom and a dad who spent time with him playing sports in the evenings.

Schwarzenegger said he became interested in after-school programs when he served as chairman of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports under former President George H.W. Bush.

Through that job, he said he travelled to all 50 states and was dismayed to see students with nothing to do after school ended.

“At 3 o’clock I always saw hundreds of kids being sent outside,” said Schwarzenegger. “They were just standing around.”

He said he would always ask the principals who was coming to pick up those kids, and the answer was always no one because their parents were working.

“I started thinking about that,” said Schwarzenegger. “I felt sorry for those kids that they don’t have someone there helping them with homework. I felt sorry for those kids that there was no one there that picks them up and takes them to the sports field. There’s no one there helping them play a guitar or do something musical, arts or painting.”

That’s when Schwarzenegger said he decided one way he could give back to this country would be to start after-school programs. In 2002, he founded the Los Angeles branch of the After-School All-Stars.

During his conversation with Jones, Schwarzenegger also encouraged the crowd not to just complain about things they don’t like in the government.

“Instead of complaining about something, it is better to go and have a solution and do something about it,” said Schwarzenegger. “Congress has a 15 percent approval rating, which is worse than herpes or colonoscopies. But 98 percent of them got re-elected in this last election, so you are the problem. Instead of complaining in front of the television set, do something about it. Listen more carefully [to] what they say, and think about redistricting reform because the whole political system is fixed in the first place.”

The summit also featured panels on how sports help students succeed later in life, how after-school programs keep students on track and in school, and how these programs prepare students for life after graduation and encourage an entrepreneurial spirit.

Guests included local school officials, government leaders, and celebrities such as Mario Lopez.

Schwarzenegger will continue his conversation with Jones tonight during a town hall conversation that will be broadcast live at 9 eastern time.


Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Time and Learning blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Evaluating Equity to Drive District-Wide Action this School Year
Educational leaders are charged with ensuring all students receive equitable access to a high-quality education. Yet equity is more than an action. It is a lens through which we continuously review instructional practices and student
Content provided by BetterLesson

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Student Well-Being Opinion What 9/11 Can Teach Us Today
We can only guess at what weighs on other people. Hurts and wounds are not always visible on the outside.
Pamela Cantor
1 min read
Images shows a stylized artistic landscape with soothing colors.
Getty
Student Well-Being Opinion Educators, Be Future-Ready, But Don’t Ignore the Present
Being ready for what lies ahead is important, but we also need to gain a better understanding of the here and now.
5 min read
shutterstock 226918177
Shutterstock
Student Well-Being Opinion How to Prioritize Student Well-Being This Year
Use the Student Thriving Index to find out where your kids stand. Because you cannot manage what you cannot measure.
2 min read
Images shows a stylized artistic landscape with soothing colors.
Getty
Student Well-Being Spotlight Spotlight on Supporting Teachers & Students
In this Spotlight, evaluate your district and what supports your schools offer, assess attendance policies to avoid burnout, and more