- The Washington Times
Tuesday, February 13, 2018

City officials are slamming President Trump’s call to cut all federal funding to a D.C. program that helps residents attend college.

The D.C. Tuition Assistance Grant (DCTAG) program receives about $40 million a year from the federal government to provide grants of up to $10,000 to qualified college-bound students. Mr. Trump’s budget, released Monday, proposes cutting that federal expenditure.

“DCTAG is a successful program that has worked for years to expand educational opportunities for our young people, and it is unfathomable that any leader working to build a safer, stronger and more competitive country would choose to cut a program like this rather than expanding it,” Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, said in a statement late Monday.

The mayor’s office has begun a #SaveDCTAG social media campaign to try to preserve the 19-year-old program, which was created by Congress.

Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton also expressed outrage over the Trump budget decision.

“DCTAG has been funded every year by Republican and Democratic Congresses alike and, unlike Trump this year, Republican presidents as well, since its creation,” Ms. Norton, a Democrat and the District’s nonvoting representative in Congress, said in a statement Monday. “This draconian and backward budget shows how out of touch this administration is with reality.”

In calling for an end to funding for the program, the Trump budget notes “a lack of a clear federal role for supporting the cost of higher education specifically for District residents.”

About 26,000 D.C. students have benefited from the program since it was created in 1999, city officials said.

• Carleton Bryant can be reached at cbryant@washingtontimes.com.

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