Why Betsy DeVos should not be the Secretary of Education
By Dylan Randolf, Editor-in-Chief
Schools from all over the nation have suffered from the lack of funds provided to them for a means of furthering education. Whether it is using that money to renovate the buildings, such as those in the Detroit Public School system, or giving students new equipment like desks, books, iPads, etc.
Meanwhile, on the other end, college students are forced to suffer from rising tuition rates and increased book prices to add to their mountain of debt.
Although these increases in prices does not seem to have an end in the near future, something can be done about helping public education and the rising student debt. The only way to ensure that education issues receive aid is to place someone in the position of Secretary of Education who can be trusted and who knows what they are doing.
As President Trump began to announce whom he was appointing to his cabinet, he nominated Betsy DeVos for his Secretary of Education. Once his candidate was released into the mainstream media, social media went berserk. People on all platforms of media have spoken out about why DeVos should not hold the position of Secretary of Education, but those who are unaware may not realize how dangerous she could be.
Upon the confirmation hearing of Education Secretary, the Senator of Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, made it perfectly clear just how unqualified DeVos is for the position when DeVos was questioned about her experience running a bank, managing and/or participating in a loan program. In fact, DeVos confirmed that she has had no experience whatsoever with financial aid or a management of higher education.
How can we put the trust into a woman who has not dealt with the system of which so many college students are participating in?
Another issue that was brought up during the hearing was about making sure the money that is invested into schools is to be used correctly and not used by criminals in fraud cases. When Warren questioned DeVos about her plan to counteract this, DeVos simply said she would hire individuals to enforce laws that were already in place, rather than having an actual plan.
During the same hearing that was held on Jan. 17, Senator of Virginia Tim Kaine showed that DeVos should not be allowed anywhere near the position with the questions that were presented. When Kaine asked DeVos if her or any of her of her children have attended public schools, DeVos simply answered no.
Again, why should someone who has never been a part of the public education system have control over its funding which can drive a system’s success?
The simple answer is that they shouldn’t.
Another important argument was when Kaine said, “In a 2015 speech on education, you were pretty blunt quote ‘Government really sucks’ and you called the public school system a ‘dead end.’” Public education provides schooling to around 90 percent of the youth enrolled in school; DeVos should have no control over public education funding if she truly thinks it is a “dead end” because she has made it clear she has no interest to further it.
Kaine would also make another point which should be extremely unnerving to those worried about the funding and management of education. Kaine asked DeVos “Public, public charter, or private K-12 schools, if they receive federal funding should be held equally accountable?”
DeVos would answer “No.”
After she avoided the question multiple times when she answered “I support accountability.” This means that she is willing to let certain school systems not be held accountable for certain actions, while other schools are.
His next question should make anyone question her morals as well as credentials as he asked, “Should all K-12 schools receiving governmental funding be required to meet the requirements of the individuals with the Disabilities Education Act?”
Her response was “I think that is an issue that’s best left to states.” Kaine would then ask her the same question regarding federal funding, of which she again avoided answering. Meaning she does not believe schools should be required to follow the federal law regarding individuals with disabilities. She cannot even support those who are unfortunate enough to not be able to support themselves.
To end Kaine’s questioning he asked, “Should all K-12 schools receiving governmental funding be required to report the same information regarding instances of harassment, discipline or bullying?”
Her answer was, “I would look forward to reviewing that revision.” Her indirect response means not all schools (public or private) would have to report the same information, which means that a school could be abusing their students and they would not be forced to report it, nor would they be forced to report instances of bullying.
These facts presented by the panel of Senators and DeVos’ responses should prove to every single person, Republican or Democrat that she is not qualified to hold the position of Education Secretary. Out of all of Trump’s cabinet picks, DeVos is arguably the most unreliable risk to the country. If public education is to have any hope of growing at all, she must be voted out of office.