Schwarzenegger swats at Trump over proposed after-school cuts

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President Donald Trump’s proposed budget, including a plan to cut federal funding for after-school programs, has struck a chord with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

A week after Trump released his budget, the former governor of California fought back with an early-morning tweet Tuesday, lauding after-school programs for kids and an organization he founded, After-School All-Stars.

Trump has proposed eliminating the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, housed under the Department of Education. The program gives $1.2 billion nationally to programs for young people, especially in low-income areas, during non-school hours.

In his tweet, Schwarzenegger taunts Trump over Trump’s recent approval ratings (this, after the two engaged in a battle of words over low ratings for “The Apprentice” under Schwarzenegger’s stewardship). Schwarzenegger tells Trump dismal ratings are to be expected when funding is cut for after-school programs.

“Donald, the ratings are in, and you got swamped. Wow. Now you’re in the 30s? But what do you expect?” Schwarzenegger says in the tweeted video. “I mean, when you take away after-school programs from children, and Meals on Wheels for the poor people? That’s not what you call making America great again. Come on! I mean, who is advising you? Let me give you some advice. Go to a middle school, the Hart Middle School, right in Washington, six miles away from the White House. I take you there, so you can see the fantastic work that they’re doing for these children.”

After-School All-Stars hosts programs at Charles Hart Middle School in Washington, D.C., and at other schools in major U.S. cities. It focuses on low-income, at-risk youth with the goal of ensuring kids graduate high school and move on to college and careers.

Schwarzenegger founded the organization in 1992 in Los Angeles as Inner City Games, to bring sports activities to at-risk youth, He served as chairman until he became governor in 2003, the same year the organization changed its name and expanded its focus to include academics, enrichment and tutoring, said Ben Paul, president and CEO of the national organization.

“When the President’s budget came out, we definitely expected reaction from Arnold,” Paul said Tuesday.

“We expected that he’s going to have strong feelings about this (as) one of the nation’s biggest champions of after-school programs.” Paul said the organization hopes to bring attention to the need for such programs and even see federal funding for them increase.

Paul said the organization gets about one-fifth of its $30 million budget from the 21st Century funding.

In Southern California, After-School All-Stars works with 48 schools and more than 14,000 students a year in Los Angeles County and in Lucerne Valley in San Bernardino County, according to the organization’s website.


After-School All-Stars bolstered Schwarzenegger’s supportive tweet with one of its own a short time later. In it, After-School All-Stars shares a video produced by advocacy news site attn:. In the one-minute video, kids exercise, cook, work on homework and talk about how they’ve benefitted from the organization. “Helping kids after school is not a waste of money,” the video says.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and President Trump had not responded to Schwarzengger via Twitter.

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