GOP Education Platform: Train Teachers to Fire Weapons, Not to Teach Students

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), a public school teacher for 24 years, released the following statement in response to the Trump administration’s proposal to offer “rigorous firearms training” to teachers. The proposal comes just four months after House Republicansadvanced a Higher Education Act reauthorization bill that eliminates funding for teacher training and loan forgiveness programs that help recruit and support educators.

“The Trump administration’s proposal to offer ‘rigorous firearms training’ to schoolteachers is absurd and terrifying. After 24 years as a public school teacher, I am stunned that anyone could think that bringing guns into the classroom is a reasonable solution to any problem. 

“This proposal is even more outrageous in the context of the recent House Republican plan to eliminate the teacher training and loan forgiveness programs created through the Higher Education Act. The GOP plan, which advanced on a party-line vote through the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, eliminates the Teacher Quality Partnership Grant program, TEACH grants, and a key loan forgiveness program that is helping to address the nationwide teacher shortage. Cutting programs that recruit and support talented educators while investing in firearms training is an astonishing statement of priorities. 

“The Republican platform on education appears to be that we should start training teachers to fire weapons and stop training them to teach students.”

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