President-elect Donald Trump has appointed as the new secretary of education a woman whose track record and qualifications are tied to the privatization of public schools. Betsy DeVos, from Michigan, is a major fundraiser for the GOP and the chair of the American Federation for Children, a Washington, D.C.-based single-issue organization devoted to “expanding school of choice options across the country,” according to the Detroit News. She and her husband, Dick, have championed these issues for more than a decade.
In 2000, Betsy and Dick DeVos funded an unsuccessful statewide ballot initiative to amend the state Constitution to allow tax dollars to be used for private school tuition through education vouchers. They have since advocated for school vouchers in other states.
The DeVoses founded their own charter high school, the West Michigan Aviation Academy, located on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids.
In his announcement, Trump praised DeVos and said he expected her to reform the education system.
“(Betsy) DeVos is a brilliant and passionate education advocate,” Trump said Wednesday in a statement. “Under her leadership, we will reform the U.S. education system and break the bureaucracy that is holding our children back so that we can deliver world-class education and school choice to all families.”
Others, however, see disaster in the making.
In a statement after the announcement,
DeVos said she was honored to help Trump “make American education great again.”
Where have you heard that before?