The writer is addressing the question, “Did President-elect Donald Trump make a smart choice in picking Betsy DeVos to be his secretary of education?”
In the United States, 90 percent of children attend public schools.
These young people and their families rely on this system, which is funded by tax dollars and is answerable to democratically elected school boards. In many communities, the public school system is the glue that holds a diverse population together.
We therefore expect the men and women who set federal education policy to support public education.
Yet President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Betsy DeVos to be secretary of education in his administration. That’s a problem. DeVos isn’t just indifferent to public education; she’s hostile to it.
DeVos simply has no credentials to do this important job. Our country’s education secretary should focus on promoting and improving public education. Instead, DeVos wants to dismantle it.
She has spent most of her adult life promoting private school vouchers. A lobbying group she heads, the American Federation for Children, seeks to transfer tax funds from public schools to private ones.
DeVos has poured money into campaigns to create voucher plans in states all over the country. She managed to get the question on the ballot in her home state of Michigan in 2000.
Michigan voters weren’t fooled, however. They rejected DeVos’s voucher scheme 68 percent to 32 percent.
Vouchers have been on the ballot in numerous states over the years. Voters have rejected them every time–and often by large margins.