With each new president comes a new administration. President Donald Trump brought in nominees for his administration, including Secretary for Education Betsy DeVos. DeVos had her first hearing on January 17 and shocked the nation not only with her complete lack of knowledge on anything to do with the public education system, but also with her refusal to answer some simple questions.
Here’s the main problem with DeVos: she has no experience in education. She has been a huge proponent for alternatives to public schools and a private education, however this only reaches 10 percent of preschool through 12th grade students. Children who attend public schools make up the majority of students in the U.S. and are a group that can’t be ignored by DeVos or any other Secretary of Education.
DeVos’ inability or unwillingness to answer certain questions is alarming. Sen. Patty Murray asked DeVos if she would commit to not privatizing schools or cutting money from the education department, to which DeVos gave a squirrely answer that left viewers with one conclusion — she won’t commit to doing that, which is incredibly scary. She also wouldn’t say she would uphold the current campus sexual assault regulations. DeVos didn’t even know that the federal government has a law in place that protects students with disabilities.
DeVos also not-so-convincingly tried to hide the fact that she wouldn’t hold all schools, regardless of if they are public or private, to the same standards of accountability. Sen. Tim Kaine repeatedly ask DeVos to simply say she believes in equal accountability, to which DeVos replied with a disgustingly confident smile, “I believe in accountability.” The refusal seen from DeVos to say the word “equally” shows what is in store for schools nationwide since DeVos was confirmed on Feb. 7th.
But to hit closer to home for college students, DeVos has no idea how to handle grant and loan money. As someone whose family doesn’t bring in anywhere near enough money to pay for tuition and books and other fees associated with college, I rely heavily on federal grants and loans to help pay for college. DeVos has never had to take out a loan to pay for an education or rely on grant money to keep her in school. She has never done something like manage a bank, a job that would have given her hands-on experience to qualify her for this job. Paying for college is already a struggle, but handing over our grant and loan money to DeVos could make it impossible for some students in the next few years.
DeVos is only in the position she is because she was born into money and then used that money to donate to the Trump campaign. She hasn’t worked in the education system for years, she doesn’t have the background and knowledge to even be considered to become Secretary of Education. DeVos is the last person who should be in charge of the nation’s schools, and now that she’s confirmed, we will have decades of messes to clean up once she is gone.