LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – President Donald Trump’s new budget gets a thumbs down from education advocates concerned that it zeroes out funding for programs that help schools get better technology and help low-income students get into college.

Some education advocates are criticizing President Donald Trump’s new 2019 budget proposal, because it zeroes out funding for a number of programs that benefit Nevada students. The $4.4 trillion budget increases defense spending but envisions deep cuts in domestic spending. For example, it would eliminate the Gear Up program which helps kids fill out college applications and access financial aid. Slyvia Lazos, policy director for the group “Educate Nevada Now” said the program targets children who are the first in their family to go to college.

“College access is the key to upward mobility, and it is the key for Nevada and Las Vegas in particular to become a more diversified economy. We really need our young people to have access to college and to become trained in something other than service-industry jobs, the casino industry,” said Lazos.

Lazos noted that 60 percent of the students in Clark County qualify for free-and-reduced-price lunch, so they come from working class families that would benefit from the Gear Up program. President Trump said the cuts are necessary to fund other higher-priority programs.

President Trump’s budget would eliminate the 21st Century Community Learning Center grants, which help schools implement technology education and add more tech such as Chrome books to their schools.

“They have been very good in Clark County and have yielded high productivity for these schools that have been able to get them, in terms of improving their scores and for really helping kids focus on what we need for a 21st century workforce,” Lazos added.

The budget proposal would also eliminate funding for P-B-S, which produces quite a bit of educational programming. The president’s budget is an outline that will be considered by Congress as it works on the budget for fiscal year 2019.

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