One of the loudest grievances the country has had with Trump’s administration the past four years is his choice of Secretary of Education – Amway heiress Betsy DeVos. DeVos was outspoken before and during her appointment about her preference for private and charter schools over the public school system and made obstructing student loan forgiveness her personal platform. As we speak, there are lawsuits against her personally over disobeying judicial orders to stop collecting on federal loans from students victimized by fraudulent for-profit schools.
So it’s no wonder that one of the major points of interest right now is who President-Elect Joe Biden will choose to succeed her. Biden has mentioned no names, but a few are rising to the surface of the conversation anyway.
One of those Secretary of Education possible choices is Alma Adams, formerly a professor and currently a congresswoman for North Carolina. Adams has been an effective advocate for schools in congress, pushing to make federal funding to support underserved universities a permanent part of the budget. She would have the support of a great many universities, particularly those with historically black student bodies.
Two other names popping up are Randi Weingarten and Lily Eskelsen Garcia, the leaders of two of the largest unions representing elementary and secondary educators. The two unions have been pursuing Department of Education support for a long time – recently the fight has been centered on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program which should have forgiveness the student loans of tens of thousands of teachers, but has been all but entirely stalled by the DeVos DoE.
Whoever is chosen as Secretary of Education, education experts expect them to make lowering the cost of higher education a priority, along with examining the federal-vs-state relationships with elementary and secondary schools and seeing how that can be adjusted to make school funding more egalitarian.