Americans United is hard at work sounding the alarm about some of the people President-elect Donald Trump has tapped to serve in his cabinet.
Among the most troubling is Betsy DeVos, Trump’s pick to run the U.S. Department of Education. DeVos has no experience with public education. In fact, she’s hostile to the concept. DeVos has devoted much of her time over the years to prioritizing and promoting private school voucher plans.
Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn recently wrote an opinion column about DeVos and her dangerous views that’s appearing in newspapers nationwide. (The column is part of “pro-con” debate, and a staff member from the Heritage Foundation takes the side favorable to DeVos.)
In the piece, Barry takes DeVos to task for failing to support public education but also points out that the voucher plans she champions have been complete and utter failures.
“Despite what DeVos and others claim about the virtues of the free market and competition, numerous studies have shown that voucher plans don't boost student performance,” observed Lynn. “Furthermore, private schools lack accountability to taxpayers and deprive students of rights provided to public school students. They also divert desperately needed resources away from public schools, which serve all children, to fund the education of a few, select voucher students. Fly-by-night schools of questionable quality have also been a problem.”
Lynn added, “Most private schools are religious, meaning that voucher plans inevitably end up subsidizing sectarian education with tax dollars. This is nothing more than a modern-day church tax, requiring Americans to support someone else's religion.”
Betsy DeVos is a problematic choice to run the U.S. Department of Education, and Americans United is letting people know that.
When Trump announced the selection of DeVos to run the Education Department, a lot of Americans probably scratched their heads. Her name didn’t mean anything to them.
But it did to Americans United. We’ve kept a close eye on her for years, and we knew all about DeVos’ reckless attacks on public education. She wants to divert as much money as possible away from public schools toward private schools.
Once ensconced at the Education Department, DeVos will likely be a cheerleader for Trump’s $20 billion voucher boondoggle he wants Congress to pass. This plan must never come to fruition, and Americans United will be ready on Day One of the Trump-Pence administration to ensure that it doesn’t.
We stand ready and hope you’ll join us for the fights ahead.