Betsy DeVos was appointed as the Secretary of Education earlier this year, paving the way for changes within the entire department now under control of the Republican party.
Transgender Rights Reversed
Education secretary Betsy Devos has a brief meeting with the Education Department’s representative of gay and transgender employees to warn them in advance of President Trump’s impending actions to repeal the federal restroom policy for transgender students set in place under the Obama administration.
During the meeting, she an aide assured the representative that Ms. DeVos tried to prevent the reversal from happening, although she gave no public sign of her opposition. DeVos joined Trump in announcing the new policy, followed by an announcement on Thursday to the Conservative Political Action Conference that the guidelines were a prime example of what she stated as an example of the ‘Obama Administration’s overreach’.
DeVos’ Political Background
Individuals who had the opportunity to interact and observe Ms. DeVos over the years during her time as a leading advocate of charter schools and school vouchers, as well as a Michigan Republican Party chairwoman (96-00) and major donor to the Republican party, have warned others that she will be a rather submissive team player for the Education System.
In her home state, she maintained the reputation of a relentlessly determined individual that was effective in achieving her goals while utilizing her family’s fortune. She instilled fear in opposing individuals in order to pass legislation and unseat lawmakers who stood against her. Mike Cox, a former state attorney general, explained that she did so, not only because she is a billionaire but because she is very determined to achieve goals once she develops them. DeVos used her wealth to punish those in opposition while also rewarding individuals who stood beside her in support.
Critics and admirers expect DeVos to build ties within the Education Department and get her way, regardless of the fact that she has no experience inside government and minimal history with the president.
Background Influencing DeVos’s View on Funding
Over the years, DeVos and her husband have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Potter’s House, a K-12 Christian school five miles outside of Grand Rapids. Given DeVos’s cultural ties to the Netherlands and her hometown’s ethnics, it is no surprise to many that she believes public schools do no deserve equal public funding. In the late 1800s, there was a great debate over what public education should look like.
Several Liberal politicians believed secular public schools as opposed to religious schools, which they believed did not deserve equal public funding. Critics see a clear violation of the commitment to separate church and state, while others view it as a basis for equal treatment.
Given the push to utilize public funding within the private education system, as well as the quick tackle of transgender rights, it is difficult to tell if there is a true separation of public and church or if the entire system is moving toward combining the two once and for all. Learn more: http://www.betsydevos.com/education/