Devos Undaunted by Opposition

Devos Undaunted by Opposition

Devos Undaunted by Opposition

President Trump’s appointee for the Secretary of Education was a controversial pick. Betsy Devos was appointed to the position with unprecedented opposition. Much of the opposition stemmed from Devos’ lack of experience as an educator and her staunch support of privately funded, for-profit Christian and charter schools.

Under Devos, Americans already have seen major proposed cuts in funding for federal education programs and for the Department of Education itself, as well as an ideological devotion to school choice. Devos has gotten to work in rescinding many of the programs put in place by the Obama administration.

Her Story: Betsy Devos is a native of Holland, MI, a town originally founded by Dutch immigrants who seceded from the Netherlands after religious and political figures attempted to modernize the Calvinist church. Read article in Mother Jones.

Regulatory Reversals. Certain regulations under Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which was the Obama administration’s replacement of the No Child Left Behind Act, Title X guidance protecting student’s gender identity, and gainful employment regulations aiming to manage student’s secondary education debt have been withdrawn or repealed.

Proposed Funding Cuts. Funding cuts have been proposed for college preparatory  programs such as TRIO and GEAR UP as well as for federal work study. In total, education spending would be cut by an estimated $9.2 billion, as proposed by Trump’s recently released budget proposal.

Why We Care:

  • Girls of color at higher risk of school push out.
    –Report from the National Women Law Center.
  • Education of Americans: A #1 National Security Issue
    Report from Council on Foreign Relations

Articulated Priorities. The new budget proposal allocates $250 billion for private school choice programs. School choice programs give students the opportunity to choose any private or public school district, often with the help of publicly funded vouchers. While school voucher programs have had mixed results, expanded efforts at the state level is expected.