The majority of Trump’s cabinet positions are being set as Trump’s transition team scrambles to appoint the nearly 4000 positions that must be filled when he enters office. Some, as of now, are not filled while others have been, like the position of Education Secretary which was given to Betsy DeVos. If you weren’t a Michigan Republican in the early 2000s you may not know who she is. To put it simply, she is a Republican billionaire that favors private parochial schools rather than public schools.
Betsy DeVos’ early life and schooling can begin to explain why she likely will be a threat to public schools as we know it. DeVos attended Holland Christian High School in Holland, Michigan where, at the time, her father employed almost one-quarter of the town’s population. After graduating high school, she went on to get her bachelor’s degree in business administration and political science at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. If you couldn’t already guess, Calvin College is a private college affiliated to the Christian Reformed Church. From an early age, DeVos has only known private Christian education, so what makes her fit to lead every school in America?
Was she appointed because of her connections or her experience?
More than likely, Betsy DeVos got the job because of who she is rather than what she has done. Betsy’s husband is Dick DeVos, whose family is the power behind Amway, the “multi-level marketing” company. It is like all of those pyramid-like companies that say they aren’t a pyramid scheme. The DeVos family also owns the Orlando Magic and has a net worth larger than Trump’s at $6.3 billion, as of February 2016. Betsy’s brother, Erik Prince, created Blackwater Worldwide. It is one of the leading private military organizations that frequently did contract work for the CIA under multiple administrations. You can guarantee that Blackwater and others like it will benefit largely from a Trump presidency.
So, we can clearly see that the DeVos family has money, but surely Betsy must have some outstanding qualifications to put her in charge of our nations youth, right? Well, you would be wrong if you assumed that. Try to not assume anything when it comes to a Trump presidency. Betsy has never held a public office related to education, not even a single school board position during her political career. She didn’t study education at college, she hasn’t taught a class, she hasn’t run a school, or even a school district. All she has done is sit on arbitrary boards of organizations looking to systematically dismantle public education.
“What we are trying to do is tear down the mindset that assigns students to a school based solely on the zip code of their family’s home. We advocate instead for as much freedom as possible.” – Betsy DeVos
Betsy DeVos will not be a champion for public school education, rather she will do everything in her power to transition to Christian private schools. She has publicly supported the deregulation of public schools and would drain the already abysmal public school funding and give it to private schools in the form of a voucher system. Separation of Church and State be damned, DeVos is all for the taxpayer financing of religious schools. Public school teachers across the nation are worried they may lose their jobs because of DeVos’ apparent lack of understanding of the importance of public education. If you thought Bush’s No Child Left Behind was a disaster, just wait for what Betsy DeVos will do.