Betsy DeVos caused great concern among public education advocates when she was nominated for secretary of education by President Trump. Then, in confirmation hearings, she seemed uninformed about the issues. Her challenge on taking office is to prove her critics wrong and strongly support the traditional public schools on which most American families rely.
But the fears about DeVos are being underlined, as she’s shown little such advocacy. In her recent appearance at a school on the Fort Bragg Army base, she gave her support to providing vouchers so military families can send their children to schools of their choice. South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott has proposed a plan for federal vouchers worth up to $8,000 a year for elementary school up to $12,000 a year for high school.
This would represent a further undermining of public education, which is something Republicans, including those in North Carolina, seem determined to do, for little reason other than their anti-government philosophy.
Public education has made a breathtaking difference in the lives of North Carolina’s children and all children, for that matter. The U.S. secretary of education should be the system’s most passionate advocate, not its chief critic.