Betsy DeVos was recently sworn in as the secretary of education. She was approved by a narrow party-line margin after President Donald Trump nominated her. For the first time in the history of the Senate, Vice-President Mike Pence was called up to break the Senate’s tie confirming her nomination.
The secretary of education supervises and directs all actions of the department. She also advises the president concerning all federal policies, activities and programs involving education in the United States. The job has different tasks and interests such as special education, drug use in schools, promoting safer school environments and administering billions of dollars in federal tuition grants.
The recent election of DeVos has caused a great deal of disruption throughout the country. People think that she does not have the experience necessary to fill the job of secretary education. “I don’t think she should have been elected because she does not have enough experience,” sophomore Hayley George said.
Being secretary of education comes with multiple responsibilities that DeVos will have to learn. Everything she does will be looked at under a microscope by the public and especially those who depend on public education. Besides the fact that people are concerned with her lack of experience, one of the public’s main concerns is that she does not believe in public education. Sophomore Crystal Bridge is worried that because Devos does not have an open mind on public education, that will cloud her judgement concerning those types of situations. “She should be open to other mean of schooling like public education,” Bridge said.
Most homes in the United States depend on public schools for their children, who cannot afford other means of education. Having a person not supporting the education the majority of American families can damage the education benifits they need to receive. DeVos supports converting the existing public education system into a voucher-based system whereby those who opt-out of public education would receive a voucher to use toward private education. Critics believe this only diverts critical resources from those need it most and does nothing to improve the system as a whole.
Not only are parents concerned with her views on education, but so are the children. Sophomore Cindy Huang is a big fan of public school and does not support DeVos because she is not compliant with what a major portion of what this country wants for their families. “She is not qualified for the job because she does not believe in public schooling,” Huang said.
DeVos comes from a very wealthy family – one that has contributed generously to the Republican party and to the Trump campaign. Personally, she has contributed $1 million to more than 20 of the senators who were responsible for confirming her nomination. While Devos and the Trump administration deny claims that her nomination and confirmation were the direct result of her contributions, the fact that every vote in her favor was casted by a Republican does not put these questions to rest.