It’s been a week since Donald Trump’s transition from President Elect to President and a picture of his cabinet is beginning to come into focus. Going through hearings this week is Betsy DeVos, the potential next Secretary of Education. Her plans have called for reform in the public school system and in the past have supported the deconstruction of public school districts and the rise of private schools around the country. The implementation of this type of system could mean big changes for FLC. Here are three ways Betsy DeVos could change Franklin Learning Center.
DeVos has supported a system in which each student receives a government issued voucher for their K-12 education. Foremost, the first step in such reform would consequently result in the decline of schools like FLC and the growth of schools run by private organizations such as colleges, corporations, and churches. Because Franklin Learning Center attracts students from all over the city, the population of FLC could see a drastic drop in enrollment, and could become more concentrated with a majority of students from the same Fairmount/Spring Garden area.
Without a certain amount of students, funding for certain programs would become scarce and may force us into forfeiting majors. Programs like Medical Assisting, which rely heavily on funding from grants as well as district funding, could lose support and eventually meet a brutal end. The same could be true for music. Music majors receive fiscal and promotional aid from the school district. Without substantial federal support, the columns holding up all our majors may collapse.
Franklin Learning Center loses a part of its identity without its majors, and DeVos’ policies could facilitate its deviation even further. A dwindling school, desperate to keep its “magnet” reputation, may reach to extreme measures in order to lure students onto its enrollment list. This could force the school into making decisions for the sole purpose of courting potential students, like misrepresenting programs, investing in the physical over the academic, or even restoring the credit system.
These are not only possibilities for Franklin Learning Center, but many public schools across America. Although the current state of our school district isn’t ideal, it could be nonexistent in a few short years.