Pittsburgh Public Schools students protest confirmation of US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

Katie RamirezФев 12, 2017

It was the first time in American history that a vice president has been needed to get a Cabinet pick approved. The ACLU of MI issued a statement urging Congress not to confirm DeVos, arguing that charters "serve only to exacerbate funding problems for cash-strapped public districts".

DeVos, a Republican from MI, is an advocate for school choice and charter schools.

And Tuesday's decision spurred concern from locals downtown.

He said the feedback that he's received from his fellow educators is that they are disappointed in Kentucky Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul's lack of acknowledgment of constituent feedback.

She now takes the helm of a department charged with implementing laws affecting the nation's public schools with no direct experience with traditional public schools.

Aiken School Board Chairman Levi Green said he personally opposed DeVos' appointment not because of her positions on charter schools and vouchers for private schools but because he believes she does not have the qualifications for the position.

Wednesday was her first day at the department, which oversees a $70 billion budget and has 4,400 employees.

So how could the President's radical choice to direct education policy affect Bay Area school districts?

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On Title IX: DeVos said in her hearing that it would be "premature" to say she would uphold a 2011 rule that requires colleges to take an active role to prevent sexual assault.

A wealthy businesswoman, DeVos has never been a teacher or a school administrator. In addition to low employment rates for recent grads, these schools have been accused of encouraging students to lie about their FAFSA information. Let me say that again: "Education is the closest thing to magic in America".

President Trump said while campaigning that he wanted to ensure funding for these schools, which have been advocating for more attention from national leaders.

[T] he Department of Education has spent $2 trillion on elementary and secondary education with little substantial improvement in academic achievement or high school graduation rates. Public school teachers are rarely invited. Henderson County Schools rank in the top 20 percent of public schools in the state. "Public schools provide an excellent education for every child". Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said the move was aimed at doing "everything we can to persuade just one more Republican to join us." .

Two Republicans voted with a united Democratic caucus in opposition to DeVos, a champion of allowing families to use public school funds to send their children to private schools, resulting in a 50-50 split before Pence cast the deciding vote as the Constitution mandates when the chamber is evenly divided. She added that she's unable to predict what implications this might have for Holy Name, which is accredited by the Kentucky Non-Public School Commission. The fact she has not been able to fully explain IDEA is concerning to the Students for Education Reform group at Ohio University, as well. For example, a K-12 scholarship tax credit bill in NY (called the Educational Affordability Act) is supported by 30 labor unions, including those representing police, firefighters, sanitation workers, court officers, construction trades, and others.

So where do they go from here?

This is why a 50-state school-choice tax credit is more appealing than a limited school-choice demonstration or a block grant that only ends up reinforcing school choice in red states that already have it. Families can apply for vouchers, or state-sponsored scholarships, to cover part or all of their tuition.

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