Betsy DeVos, one of President Donald Trump’s former Cabinet members, received a standing ovation when she called for the abolishment of the Department of Education, the very department she oversaw.
Keynote speaker at the “Moms for Liberty” summit in Tampa, DeVos appealed to federalism, saying that state and local governments should be in charge of education rather than the federal government. The words that promoted the standing ovation were:
“I personally think the Department of Education should not exist,” DeVos announced as reported by news outlet Florida Phoenix. She also referred to teachers’ unions as a “K-12 cartel,” and called for parents to reclaim their rights to choose how their children are educated. But she and “Mom’s for Liberty” founder, Tiffany Justice, were quick to praise teachers and want to liberate than from the clutches of the rapidly leftists’ unions.
The “Moms for Liberty” group was born out of the forced school mask mandates during the pandemic, and the summit’s main focus is conservative activism, encouraging conservatives to run in local school board elections with an aim to empower parental rights, according to Breitbart. Various speakers on the bill instructed participants on how to select and promote conservatives in local school board elections while other workshops instructed parents on legal strategies when battling far-left agendas like “gender ideology, in our schools,” “social and emotional learning” and “restorative justice.”
— Shannon Adcock (@Shannon_A_IL) July 16, 2022
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DeVos has been an advocate of school choice, school vouchers and “education freedom,” but was harshly criticized during her tenure as Secretary of Education when she presented a federalized school choice plan, something which school-choice proponents said was actually antithetical to school choice.
Lindsey Burke, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Education Policy, pointed out the potential for onerous regulation if DeVos’ school choice were enacted:
“It’s wonderful that the Administration wants to advance school choice but a nationwide federal tax-credit scholarship program is the wrong way to do it,” said Lindsey Burke, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Education Policy. “This could open the door for further education regulations down the road that neutralize the advantages of private education as well as impede future tax reform efforts.”
Burke added that administrations would be empowered with educational enforcement, including asserting that certain admissions and accountability policies are adhered to, which would open a massive can of worms. “That would mean the federal government could further dictate testing, reporting, academic content, and even bathroom policies for all schools involved.”
Since her tenure in the Trump administration, DeVos has continued her quest for educational reform. She authored a recent book called “Hostages No More: The Fight for Education Freedom and the Future of the American Child,” and introduces her book with a call to the reader:
“The time has come for a truly new approach. We tried throwing truckloads of money at schools. That didn’t make them open any sooner during the pandemic. We tried banning poisonous ideologies like critical race theory, but that hasn’t—and won’t—drive the tendency to indoctrinate our children from our public schools.
The answer is education freedom.”