Former House Speaker John Boehner is endorsing Betsy DeVos as the next federal education department secretary.
In a post on his website, Boehner says DeVos “understands the need for constant innovation in our education system.”
The former speaker says he has known DeVos for “more than 20 years,” and that she was “instrumental during my years working with legislators of both parties to establish and defend” the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (DCOSP), a school choice program in Washington, D.C.
DCOSP was condemned by supporters of teachers unions who feared school choice legislation would deprive public schools of their federal funding.
“A champion for education reform, Betsy DeVos stood with us every step of the way, working side by side with me and many other proponents of equal opportunity in education to ensure the program continued,” Boehner writes.
Boehner went on to say that DeVos, whose confirmation hearings begin January 17, has been a partner in the development of the future workforce of America:
She knows that in order to ensure the next generation of Americans can compete and lead the world, we have to have an education system in which doors are open to continual improvement. And she has applied that knowledge with courage and conviction for years, personally leading major education reform initiatives in support of charter schools, school choice and other innovations that have opened new doors for students in her native Michigan and throughout the country.
“With Betsy DeVos at the helm of the U.S. Department of Education, our country is going to gain that type of leadership,” he writes. “I know she’ll serve as Education Secretary in the same manner in which she’s done everything since I’ve known her: with honor, grace, courage and compassion for those most in need of a hand up.”