Teacher unions better be ready for President Trump. Maybe the president does not have the power of a governor when it comes to education, but if he wants it, he probably can take it. Wisconsin teachers unions were destroyed overnight by Scott Walker. They are now worthless in the state. Vouchers were expanded so that pretty much anyone can use them anywhere.
Based on the new Secretary of Education, the assumption would be that our country is heading for something similar. Think of it kind of what the federal government did with Obamacare. Trump will set aside a large chunk of money to help education, but it will only be available to states that play by his rules, and his rules will likely include total freedom of choice, possibly with the added bonus of union busting. If nothing else, states that take the federal aide will need to jump through the proper hoops that will be designed to allow head to head competition between for-profit schools and public schools.
Because public school teacher total compensation packages are currently at least in the realm of a living wage, choice schools will be able to undercut local public schools at every turn. With or without proof of better results, these schools will thrive. And in some ways, that's fine. Parents can choose the alternative to public school, as long as something can be measured to confirm the right choices are being made. Trump does not like Common Core, but he does like to cite international tests that show we're behind other countries in skills (found in the Common Core).
People voted for a shakeup of how things are done when it comes to government. Many of those who voted for Trump are more than likely happy with the education received in their own communities, but even wealthy suburban schools cannot compete against the allure of schools that provide the same education for half the money. It's like when all those teachers made the choice to buy more reliable Japanese cars: they wanted the best deal, even if it hurt a local worker. Well, that same scenario could play out at public schools all over the country if Trump opens education up the way he could. If parents don't respect your Master's in Educational Pedagogy and the price it's costing them, then your school will lose out to the online school paying a recent college grad half your salary to teach three times as many kids.
Don't kid yourselves. Trump's draining of the swamp when it comes to education might include voucher school lobbyists, but since that's basically who he hired to run the Department of Education, it's more likely the swamp, in his mind, includes teacher union representatives. While I have no love for a union that failed to protect me, I do feel some sorrow at the potential loss of a free, public, liberal arts education in America. Then again, we haven't very good at doing it, anyhow, so maybe it's time to see what the market will produce.