Schwarzenegger: Trump robs kids blind

New York: Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger has slammed US President Donald Trump once again, this time for his proposal to cut $1.2 billion of after-school programs, a media report said.

The former California Governor said: “President Trump promised us he wants to ‘make America great again.’ That’s not how you make America great, by taking $1.2 billion from the children and robbing them blind.”

Schwarzenegger said this on Wednesday in front of hundreds of program leaders at the National After-School Summit at the University of Southern California’s Schwarzenegger Institute, CNN reported.

“Why would he do that?” the actor said of the Trump budget’s proposed elimination of the 21st Century Community Learning Centre grant program.

“Why would he want to balance the budget on the backs of those kids?”
the actor vowed to put up a fight in Washington, calling the after-school program leaders in attendance “terminators”, CNN said.

His comments come on the heels of a feud between Trump and Schwarzenegger over the latter’s low-rated version of “The New Celebrity Apprentice.” Trump had blamed the ratings slide on the actor, CNN said.

Schwarzenegger had shot back in a video released on social media: “Hey, Donald, I have a great idea. Why don’t we switch jobs?”

Afterschool programs (sometimes called OST or Out-of-School Time) serve children and youth of all ages, and encompass a broad range of focus areas including academic support, mentoring, youth development, arts, and sports and recreation.

The activities are believed to be critical to their development, highlighting the need for quality after-school programs in all communities.

Several Federal agencies provide support and resources to after-school programs to help promote positive outcomes for youth.

The demand for after-school programs is strong; current estimates suggest that nearly 10 million children and youth participate in after-school programs annually, an independent report said.

High quality after-school programs generate positive outcomes for youth including improved academic performance, classroom behaviour, and health and nutrition.

Communities and businesses also benefit when youth have safe and productive ways to spend their time while their parents are at work, the report added.