With the 2020 election rapidly approaching, candidates are attempting to win over voters with proposals or, in President Donald Trump’s case, executive orders. On July 9th, President Trump signed an executive order entitled the White House Hispanic Prosperity Initiative in an attempt to appeal to the Latino population. Historically, Latino Americans have a 26% approval rating of the president, and Trump won only 3 out of 10 Latino votes in the 2016 election. These are numbers the president is trying to change going into November. However, the president is trying to court Latino voters while still appealing to his base supporters by highlighting things like his progress in building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and his efforts to prevent illegal immigration.
The White House Hispanic Prosperity Initiative creates an advisory committee who have the task of improving Hispanic Americans’ access to educational and economic opportunities. The order specifies that they will do this in a few ways, one of which includes encouraging partnerships that will improve access to educational and economic opportunities. Another way the commission will achieve their goal is by developing a network of individuals, organizations, and communities who will come together to discuss practices and ways to improve access to the previously stated desired opportunities. The commission will then monitor the development and implementation of the Federal Government’s programs, and advise the president on the greatest issues of importance to Hispanic Americans.
There are additional functions of the commission as well. One such function is promoting public awareness of the challenges Hispanic Americans face in education, and why those challenges occur. Another is to promote pathways to jobs, internships, apprenticeships, and other opportunities for Hispanic American students.
The most important takeaway, some are arguing, is the administration’s reiteration of their support for school choice. According to PBS, the president used this order as an opportunity to emphasize his support for charter schools. Charter schools are funded by the public but privately run, giving them the independence to innovate. With one in three charter school students being Hispanic, the Trump administration wants to leave charter schools as they are. Teacher unions have been arguing against charter schools, as their funding takes away from public schools, but President Trump has said repeatedly that as long as he is president, he “will never let your charter schools be taken away from you”.
The Commission will consist of no more than 20 people, with some of the participants being the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Education, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and other individuals from inside or outside the Federal Government. The Commission will expire in two years unless extended by the president.
Madhani, Aamer, and Jill Colvin. “WATCH: Trump Signs White House Hispanic Prosperity Initiative Executive Order.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 9 July 2020, www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/watch-live-trump-signs-white-house-hispanic-prosperity-initiative-executive-order.
Trump, Donald J. “Executive Order on the White House Hispanic Prosperity Initiative.” The White House, The United States Government, 9 July 2020, www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-white-house-hispanic-prosperity-initiative/.