The Department of Education should not exist, according to former secretary of education Betsy DeVos at a conservative group event.
Betsy DeVos, daughter of billionaire Edgar Prince whose brother is the founder of notorious private military Blackwater, was the U.S. Secretary of Education from 2017 to 2021, under President Donald Trump. As secretary, DeVos focused her attention on promoting private and charter schools over public schools and reducing the effectiveness of Title IX protections. She constantly beat the drum that she was doing so to protect parents’ rights to make decisions regarding their children’s education.
That stance was heavily undercut by her actions regarding student loans, undoing Bush- and Obama-era protections for borrowers and directing the DoE to continue to collect on loans that had been frozen by judge order. Parental choices in education mean nothing when the end result is young people permanently in debt to the state.
During the pandemic, DeVos used her power as secretary to divert millions of dollars from the CARES Act, money intended for public schools and state colleges, into private and religious schools. She advocated punishing schools which didn’t fully reopen by pulling federal funding, again leaving parents with fewer choices about good schools.
Now, DeVos advocates disbanding the office she used so heavy-handedly.
“I personally think the Department of Education should not exist,” she said Saturday during a Moms for Liberty event , in Tampa, Florida. Her alternative is that all educational decisions be left up to state and local boards. We’ve seen how that goes, with Florida banning math textbooks for “containing prohibited topics” under their ban on so-called “critical race theory,” which no Florida lawmaker has been able to define on camera.
If DeVos thinks her old job should not exist, perhaps we should undo every single decision she made. And she should pay back every taxpayer dime she took to do so, since she plainly took the position in bad faith.
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