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We Should Spend More On Teachers, Says Maryland RNC Delegate

By Andrew Ujifusa — July 21, 2016 2 min read
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Education needs to be a bigger part of the Republican Party’s message, Ben Marchi, a delegate from Maryland to the Republican National Convention told us in the Quicken Loans Arena on Monday—and some educators deserve a bigger slice of the pie from GOP nominee Donald Trump.

“The best thing he can do for American education is cut wasteful spending,” Marchi said. Monday in the arena “We don’t spend enough on teachers.”

So where is too much money spent, according to him? On school administrators.

In some respects, that lines up with Trump’s views on education spending in general. The real estate executive has said he doesn’t like how much money we spend for mediocre results on international exams. In fact, a decent chunk of what Marchi said approximates Trump’s stated views on education. We asked him about Trump and these four other K-12 issues—we asked him pretty much the same questions we put to former teacher Kathryn Gardner on Monday:

• For example, Marchi’s view that there needs to be a lot of “consolidation” at the U.S. Department of Education. Trump has said on different occasions he’d like to either cut or significantly shrink the department.

• And the Talbot County resident joins Trump in his dislike of the Common Core State Standards. Marchi said the standards represent “absolutely too much federal control.” Trump has called the common core a “disaster.” (The standards aren’t a federal program, but President Barack Obama’s administration did encourage states to adopt them.)

• Marchi hadn’t heard of the Every Student Succeeds Act, the new federal K-12 law. And Trump hasn’t said anything about it.

• But Marchi, unlike Trump, is pretty clear about his views on transgender students’ ability to use school facilities that match their gender identity. He calls the prospect of “girls changing in front of boys” in locker rooms “absurd.”

Talbot County schools in Maryland recently decided to follow the Obama administration’s guidance saying schools should let transgender students use locker rooms and restrooms that match their gender identities. But Marchi thinks his county district has jumped the gun.

“This thing hasn’t even gone through the courts yet,” Marchi said.

Want to learn more about where Trump stands on a variety of education policy issues? Check out our interactive graphic on Trump, Clinton, and K-12.

Photo: The Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 18. (Swikar Patel/Education Week)

Follow us on Twitter at @PoliticsK12.

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