In her first week as the Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos has already promised to wreak havoc on the Department of Education.
DeVos has promised to audit all programs, saying she believes the department can do a lot less.
In an interview with the Big Show radio program on Tuesday, DeVos said that although she can “guarantee there are things the department has been doing that are probably not necessary or important for a federal agency to do.”
Like educating children?
She then added:
“We’ll be examining and auditing, and reviewing all of the programs of the department and really figuring out what is the core mission and how can the federal department of education really support and enhance the role of the departments in the states. Because really when it comes down to it, education and the provision of education is really a state and local responsibility to a large extent. So these sorts of things will be part of our focus in the coming weeks and I think we’ll have some good robust conversations about that.”
She then said in an interview later with Axios that she is okay with seeing the entire department close.
“It would be fine with me to have myself worked out of a job, but I’m not sure that — I’m not sure that there will be a champion movement in Congress to do that.”
Her plan is in line with Trump’s campaign promise to cut the department’s spending and influence, if not simply cut the entire department.
DeVos has long been devoted to for-profit school systems using tax dollars, through various voucher programs, to fund private institutions and charter schools.
Just as outrageous as closing the department, DeVos noted that while the department once tacked important civil right’s issues, Devos said she “can’t think of any now,” that need addressing.
As ThinkProgress noted, that statement “may be cause for concern for educators, parents, and advocates for disadvantaged students, since it indicates DeVos could propose making cuts to the Office for Civil Rights.” They continued by explaining the “office handles complaints about Title IX violations, which includes women’s access to sports and the investigation of campus rape, the rights of students with disabilities, and racially disparate student discipline.”
DeVos is highly unqualified for this job, her staff choices will likely be as unqualified as she is, and in the end, it will be American students who pay the ultimate price for her inadequacy.
Education activists will need to find a way to oppose and resist any and all changes DeVos and her team put forward.