op-eds

“I Support Accountability”

On February 7, 2017, the Senate and Vice President Mike Pence made one of the worst decisions regarding education in U.S. history.

Betsy DeVos has been confirmed as the new Secretary of Education for President Donald Trump.

DeVos was raised in a private school, put her children in private schools, and advocates for the use of private schools across the country. She has not taught at a public school, and has no experience in the classroom aside from a mentoring position.

While 90 percent of American students attend public schools, it is hard to understand why this person is equipped for the job.

This lack of hands-on experience could be overlooked if DeVos had any idea what policies have already been put in place for education, but she does not. In a hearing with Sen. Tim Kaine, she clearly had no knowledge of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

“That just seems like a prerequisite that everybody should know,” said Allecia Frizzell, the special education supervisor for Washington County Schools. “I keep a copy of it here. Even though I am familiar with it, I constantly refer to it. If you don’t understand IDEA, then you don’t have a grasp on education. IDEA guarantees that ‘all’ means ‘all’ in working with students, despite their background. To not understand that is a lack of global knowledge about education in general.”

DeVos also supports vouchers, meaning that public school funding will be drained by private and public charter schools. This causes the education system to collapse in on itself, and families are forced to move in order to meet their children’s academic needs. Look at Detroit for an example.

According to DeVos, Title I schools do not require her attention either. The Title I program provides additional funding to schools that serve low-income households, and is therefore crucial to the well-being of individuals. Given her way, DeVos will eliminate this program altogether and put the money towards something more worthwhile, like private schools.

DeVos should not be in control of a $73 billion budget, but even more importantly she should not be in charge of the future of the U.S.

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