Betsy DeVos will give a speech Monday evening in which she’s expected to offer details on how she and Donald Trump plan to destroy American public education. DeVos will be speaking at the American Federation for Children’s national policy summit. The American Federation for Children is a school privatization advocacy group that DeVos herself headed right up until Trump nominated her as education secretary, and to which she and her husband contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars, so she’s really completing the circle of corruption here.
She is believed to be preparing to unveil an education tax credit scholarship proposal, which the Trump administration has been considering for some time, according to multiple sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it. What DeVos is expected to outline could look different than a bill pushed by Republicans Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Rep. Todd Rokita of Indiana. If passed by Congress, the proposal could channel billions of public dollars to working class families to help them pay for private schools, including religious schools.
As the details of this plan come out, keep your eye on that “working class families” thing. Some voucher-type programs create tax cuts for the wealthy or give vouchers to families that were already paying private school tuition, funneling more money than students from public to private (often religious) schools. Such programs often increase segregation and allow discrimination—not that DeVos or Trump would worry about that.
DeVos’s fairly obvious leak to Politico includes the claim that “DeVos is expected to stress that the Trump administration won’t mandate school choice and will emphasize state flexibility, sources say,” but a Washington Post report on the Trump-DeVos education budget suggests that there will be extra money for states that go along with the regime’s privatization priorities, while after-school programs, teacher training programs, funding for class-size reduction, arts education, and more would be slashed.
DeVos’s speech will doubtlessly include a lot of gauzy language about choice, some seriously messed-up comparisons, and whiny self-righteousness. But the devil will be in the details, and there will be a devil.