Optimism on Betsy DeVos as U.S. education secretary

26 February, 2017, 01:00 | Author: Elaine Woods
  • Optimism on Betsy DeVos as U.S. education secretary

Last August, federal Judge Reed O'Connor of the Northern District of Texas issued a national injunction against President Obama's controversial directive telling public schools that they must allow transgender students to use the public facilities of their choice.

Knowing the importance of free lunch programs, many Twitter users criticized DeVos' statement as "ignorant" and chastised her for using a reality faced by so many children in poverty as a punchline for a joke.

"This issue was a very huge example of the Obama administration's overreach to suggest a one-size-fits-all approach ... to issues that are best dealt with and solved from a personal level, from a local level", DeVos said during an interview with CNN conservative commentator Kayleigh McEnany at CPAC.

But DeVos didn't actually say the teachers were waiting to be told what to do; rather, she said, "They're waiting to be told what they have to do, and that's not going to bring success to an individual child".

I also agree with Betsy DeVos that we must do more to make college education more affordable.

DeVos was referring to her contentious Senate confirmation hearing where she went before three of the body's biggest liberal names: Sens.

As secretary, I don't think the Department of Education in Washington, D.C. should have more power over your decisions than you do.

Mr. Sessions, who strongly opposes expanding gay, lesbian and transgender rights, fought Ms. DeVos on the issue and pressed her to relent because he could not go forward without her consent.

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Sam Malekan, a third-year history student and co-director of student services for the Financial Support Commission at UCLA, said he is concerned about having a Secretary of Education who has never applied for financial support herself. The source said DeVos first communicated this to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and then was summoned to the White House on Tuesday for a meeting with Sessions and Trump, where she was told to sign on to the move.

DeVos said she does see the federal government having an important role "are really around the needs of special needs students" and civil rights issues.

Her comments came amid reports that the Trump administration is considering a federal tax credit scholarship program of up to $20 billion that would help working-class families send their kids to private schools.

That was meant to draw laughs from the conservative activists, but low-income schools, known as Title I schools, provide free and reduced lunches and breakfasts to low socioeconomic students.

Supporters of Betsy DeVos have pointed out that she is a supporter of school choice.

"Together we can make American education great again", she exclaimed at one point during her speech.

"My job isn't to win a popularity contest with the media or the education establishment here in Washington", DeVos said.

"As Secretary of Education, I consider protecting all students, including LGBTQ students, not only a key priority for the Department, but for every school in America". DeVos was often criticized for her lack of experience and knowledge about the American education system.

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