Donald Trump achievements: Education

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Main article: Donald Trump achievements

This article is a non-exhaustive list of achievements by U.S. President Donald Trump, his administration, and Congress related to education policy.


In her first six months in office, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos had already made a large impact on U.S. education policy, pushing it in a conservative direction as seen in her support for school choice and local control.[1]

Executive actions, 2017

  • February 22, 2017—President Trump rescinded former President Obama's pro-transgender guidelines for schools receiving federal aid that are subject to Title IX.[2] A day earlier, the Trump Administration announced it would discontinue Obama's pro-transgender policies,[3] and earlier that month the DOJ refused to defend the policy or appeal a court-ordered injunction on the policy.[4]
  • April 7, 2017—A Presidential proclamation celebrated this day as "Education and Sharing Day USA" recognizing the conservative principles of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, to use values-based education to drive our Nation's children toward the American Dream.[5]
  • April 26, 2017—President Trump signed an executive order ordering Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to review Department of Education regulations, with the intention of returning power to the states and local governments.[6]
  • May 1, 2017—The Agriculture Department took steps to give schools more flexibility in their school meal plans.[7] On December 6, 2018, the Department announced the finalized rules on the matter.[8]
  • May 22, 2017—Although Education Secretary Betsy DeVos supported school choice and stated the Administration would create a school choice plan, she stated she would not force the states to expand school choice and would let them decide their own policies – this showed the Trump Administration's respect for state sovereignty.[9] It was a wise decision, considering the ability of liberals and Democrats to hijack such a federal program.[10]
  • June 2017—Adam Kissel, a noted critic of the 2011 Title IX "Dear colleague letter" and a strong supporter of free speech, was hired as deputy assistant secretary for higher education programs, and the staff of the Title IX enforcement office was reduced in the 2018 budget.[11]
  • September 22, 2017—Education Secretary DeVos withdrew an Obama-era guidance on how universities much take care of sexual assault accusations as the guidance did not treat students fairly.[12]
  • October 25, 2017—The Trump Administration DOJ filed its second "statement of interest" supporting free speech on college campuses.[13]

Proclamations, 2017

  • January 22–28, 2017—National School Choice Week, as proclaimed by President Trump.[14]

Setbacks, 2017

The following setbacks to the MAGA agenda were often caused by Congress or officials in the Trump Administration, rather than President Trump himself. Some of them can also be considered partial achievements.

  • It was reported in June 2017 that the Trump Administration officials continued Obama's advancement of transgender ideology into public schools.[15]


Executive actions, 2018

  • February 2018—It was reported that the Education Department would no longer investigate claims by transgender students of being forced to use the bathroom of their biological gender.[16]
  • May 9, 2018—The Education Department moved to review existing regulations restricting religious universities from receiving federal money – with the intention of changing or removing those regulations – in order to strengthen religious freedom protections for those institutions.[17]
  • By June 2018, the Trump Administration was completing Title IX gender-discrimination complaints at a much faster pace than the Obama Administration.[18]
  • July 3, 2018—The DOJ rescinded seven Obama Administration guidance documents that promoted affirmative action in colleges and universities.[19]
  • July 25, 2018—The Education Department began replacing an Obama-era rule on student loan-forgiveness, which had an unreasonably broad definition of "fraud," with a rule that adopted a definition common in a court of law.[20]
  • August 10, 2018—The Trump Administration began the process of rescinding an Obama-era regulation penalizing for-profit colleges for career programs with a reputation of leaving students in debt, as the Obama-era rule unfairly targeted certain schools simply because of their tax status.[21] The Education Department finalized this regulation repeal on June 28, 2019.[22]
  • November 16, 2018—The Education Department released a new campus sexual misconduct rule which expanded due process for the accused, among other changes.[23]
  • November 2018—The Education Department promoted homeschooling in an official blog post on its website, representing a large shift compared to the Obama Administration.[24]
  • December 6, 2018—The Department of Agriculture announced finalized rules relaxing school lunch requirements.[8]
  • December 21, 2018—The Trump Administration rescinded an Obama-era policy that called on schools to have more lenient school discipline policies for racial minority students compared to white students.[25]

Proclamations, 2018

  • January 21–27, 2018—As in the previous year, President Trump proclaimed this week National School Choice Week.[26]

Other achievements, 2018

  • Trump Administration officials, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions[27] and Education Secretary DeVos,[28] strongly spoke out for free speech on college campuses.

Setbacks, 2018

The following setbacks to the MAGA agenda were often caused by Congress or officials in the Trump Administration, rather than President Trump himself. Some of them can also be considered partial achievements.

  • In addition to appointing former Obama Administration and Bush-connected officials to Education Department positions,[29] Secretary DeVos indicated support for a centralized federal education policy, despite education being a state issue.[30] In August 2018, the Education Department was still forcing states to comply with federal mandates despite the opposition of state officials and parents.[31]
  • September 5, 2018—Education Secretary DeVos signed a joint declaration at a G-20 meeting of education ministers that promoted left-wing and globalist policies.[32]
  • Despite promising to reduce the Education Department's budget, congressional Republicans passed, and President Trump signed, the department's largest budget ever in 2018, despite it not enacting any of the Trump Administration's priorities.[33]


President Trump[34] and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos continued promoting school choice[35] and other conservative policies.[36] The Trump Administration took steps to review ways to improve the government's student loan portfolio.[37]

Executive actions, 2019

  • March 11, 2019—The Education Department, implementing a 2017 Supreme Court decision, announced it would stop enforcing a federal law banning religious organizations from giving federally-funded services to private schools.[38]
  • March 21, 2019—President Trump signed an executive order to protect campus free speech rights by denying federal research funding to universities that do not protect free speech.[39]
  • April 9, 2019—It was reported that the Trump Administration had required Texas Tech University's medical school to stop using race as a factor in its admissions policy.[40]
  • June 2019—The Education Department began an investigation into foreign funding on U.S. campuses.[41]
  • August 29, 2019—The Education Department ordered the University of North Carolina and Duke University to revise their joint Middle East studies program due to an overly positive depiction of Islam at the expense of Christianity and Judaism and because of anti-Israel bias.[42]
  • September 10, 2019—President Trump announced he would lift a federal ban on funding for faith-based historically black colleges and universities.[43]
  • November 26, 2019—It was reported that the Education Department had ordered the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to change its policies after a complaint of anti-Semitism.[44]
  • December 9, 2019—The DOJ filed a statement of interest in support of students who had their free speech rights threatened by a college campus administration.[45]
  • December 11, 2019—President Trump signed an executive order to withhold federal funds from universities that do not combat anti-Semitism.[46]
  • December 2019—The Education Department proposed a student loan forgiveness policy that included faith-based schools.[47]

Proclamations, 2019

  • January 20–26, 2019—President Trump proclaimed this week National School Choice Week.[48]


The Trump Administration continued promoting school choice and other conservative education policies.[49] President Trump's school choice plan was met with strong praise, such as from an article by the Washington Times.[50]

Proclamations and commemorations, 2020

  • February 4, 2020—At the 2020 State of the Union Address, President Trump called for greater school choice to improve the U.S. education system,[51] noting correctly that there is strong support for school choice in America.[52] Despite liberal opposition, Trump accurately used the example of Philadelphia student Janiyah Davis to emphasize on the potential benefits of school choice.[53]

Other achievements, 2020


  1. Multiple references: However, see also:
  2. Multiple references: However, see also:
  3. Munro, Neil (February 21, 2017). Donald Trump Junks Barack Obama’s Pro-Transgender Policies. Breitbart. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
    See also:
  4. Multiple references:
  5. President Donald J. Trump Proclaims April 7, 2017, as Education and Sharing Day, U.S.A.. Retrieved on June 16, 2017.
  6. Multiple references:
  7. Multiple references:
  8. 8.0 8.1 Multiple references:
  9. DeVos: 'School choice' will not be mandated by Washington. Fox News. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  10. Berry, Susan, PhD (May 30, 2017). Democrats’ Obsession with PC Agenda Shows Danger of Federal School Choice Program. Breitbart News. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  11. Multiple references:
  12. Multiple references: See also:
  13. Multiple references: See also:
  14. Multiple references:
  15. Multiple references: See also:
  16. Multiple references: See also:
  17. Multiple references:
  18. Hackman, Michelle; Sweedler, Maya (June 22, 2018). Title IX Cases Get Faster Review Under Trump. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  19. Multiple references: See also:
  20. Hackman, Michelle; Mitchell, Josh (July 25, 2018). Trump Administration Proposes Tightening Rules for Forgiving Student Loans. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 11, 2018.
    See also: An earlier action, taken the previous year:
  21. Multiple references: See also:
  22. Multiple references:
  23. Multiple references: See also:
  24. Newman, Alex (November 29, 2018). Shocking: U.S. Dept of Education Offers Positive View on Homeschooling. The New American (from FreedomProject Media). Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  25. Multiple references: See also:
  26. Multiple references:
  27. Multiple references: See also:
  28. Anapol, Avery (September 17, 2018). DeVos decries lack of free speech on campuses, says US has 'abandoned truth'. The Hill. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
    Statements in 2019:
  29. Multiple references:
  30. Multiple references: See also:
  31. Berry, Susan (August 29, 2018). DeVos Education Department ‘Strongarms’ Utah Parents. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  32. Multiple references: See also:
  33. Multiple references:
  34. Multiple references: See also:
  35. Multiple references: See also:
  36. Multiple references: See also:
  37. Multiple references:
  38. Multiple references:
  39. Multiple references: See also:
  40. Multiple references:
  41. Multiple references: See also:
  42. Multiple references: See also:
  43. Multiple references: See also: A later action by President Trump and Congress related to HBCU funding:
  44. Multiple references:
  45. Multiple references:
  46. Multiple references: Articles on the order before President Trump signed it: Criticism from conservatives: See also: The executive order began to be enforced by the Trump Administration and used by others:
  47. Vondracek, Christopher (January 14, 2020). Education Department's student loan forgiveness programs to include faith-based schools. The Washington Times. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  48. Proclamation 9837 of January 18, 2019 -- National School Choice Week, 2019. Federal Register. January 25, 2019. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  49. Musto, Julia (January 11, 2020). DeVos says Trump administration policies are 'empowering families'. Fox News. Retrieved January 12, 2020.
  50. Trump's school choice plan will help kids, and is smart politics
  51. Trump revives call for support of ’school choice’ agenda, despite certain rejection in Congress
  52. As Trump said in State of the Union, demand for school choice is huge
  53. Multiple references:
  54. Trump administration is pushing Kentucky lawmakers to pass school choice program