SAN FRANCISCO — As President Donald Trump prepares to leave office, his administration is trying to pass legislation that would dramatically reshape the nation’s public school system.
But the bills could have unintended consequences that could jeopardize the quality of education that has become a central theme of his presidency.
The legislation, expected to be unveiled as early as this week, is expected to set up a new system of teacher certification, allow for private schools to get more state dollars and allow students from poor families to attend private schools.
A key question is how to fund a new education system while ensuring access to quality, affordable education.
The Republican-led House of Representatives has already passed bills that would provide funding for a new public school in Kansas and for charter schools in Florida.
It is unclear whether the Senate will follow suit.
Trump has pledged to give schools an overhaul.
He wants to build a more diverse school system and increase the number of students attending more private schools and charter schools, according to the president’s office.
“In a free market, teachers, principals and students have to compete with each other,” Trump said during a speech in June, before introducing the new bill.
“We have to have competition.
If we don’t, we’re going to lose.”
Trump’s plan calls for a national voucher program to be established for all students, with each state receiving $500 million in new funds, to fund vouchers for children from low-income families.
States that receive more than 50 percent of the federal funding would receive more federal funding.
The bill also calls for states to use the money to open more charter schools.
Trump’s education secretary, Betsy DeVos, has repeatedly said that she believes the federal government should fund charter schools for low-performing students.
In his budget proposal, Trump also said states could receive up to $200 million per year to help subsidize charter schools through the state’s voucher program.
The federal government would pay the rest of the cost, which would be used to provide charter schools with funding.
Critics say the bill would provide no additional money for charter school expansion.
Republicans in the Senate are also pushing a bill that would eliminate the Common Core State Standards Initiative, a set of federal education standards that were set by the Obama administration.
They say the standards are the reason public schools are failing to meet the standards.
Republican leaders in Congress have previously said they would not vote for a bill like this, because it would “undermine our core values of freedom and opportunity.”