WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Education Secretary Betsy Devos is shining a light on her efforts since her controversial confirmation. Protests continue to follow her as many are still concerned about her effect on public schools. DeVos says she is fighting for every student, but others strongly disagree.
Secretary DeVos says everyone should have opportunities for quality education.
“The focus is on each and every student individually,” said DeVos.
DeVos says she is not losing sight of her mission. More than six months after vice president Mike Pence broke a 50-50 confirmation deadlock, DeVos says she is seeing support on Capitol Hill for initiatives like increasing charter school funding.
“Whatever happens at the federal level is merely going to be a complement to what the states are doing. The states really need to lead in this regard,” said DeVos.
The administration proposed to cut the Department’s budget by $9.2 billion. In that budget, DeVos is putting an emphasis on school choice, letting parents and children pick the right fit for their education. She says it is about helping every student succeed, no matter the circumstances.
“We see the necessity to really have the opportunity for all families, all students, to have the same kind of opportunities that those who are able to afford it can,” said DeVos.
Strong opposition to Secretary DeVos continues. Some say growing up wealthy and attending private schools make her unfit to lead in education. Urlich Boser, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, says DeVos is not fighting for equality in American education.
“What we need in this country is public dollars to go to public schools. We need to give our schools more capacity. We need to make sure teachers have the tools and skills that they need. This administration is not prioritizing what we know works for public education,” said Boser.
Boser says DeVos is focused on helping private schools. He says rich or poor, everyone should have access to quality education.
“This is a secretary who has not fought for people who are living in poverty. She’s had one singular agenda and that is to privatize public schools,” said Boser.
The House appropriations committee approved some of the administration’s proposed budget cuts, reducing funding by $2.4 billion. Congress will vote on a final budget later this year.