EXCLUSIVE – Gov. Jan Brewer: DeVos Has Led the Conservative Charge on Education Reform

Jan Brewer
Ross D. Franklin / AP

As a former governor who has fought on the front lines for lower taxes, stronger borders and less government waste, I know what it means to fight on principle for the conservative values that make America great. That is why I am surprised to see some in our movement now questioning the conservative bona fides of Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to serve as the next U.S. Secretary of Education.

No conservative in America has done more to promote school choice than Ms. DeVos. For the past 28 years, she has been a tireless and passionate advocate for policies that give parents more control over their children’s educations. Ms. DeVos has taken on the nation’s teachers’ unions in dozens of state capitals to promote education reforms that put the best interests of children ahead of the bureaucrats who dominate the education establishment in America. 

Most importantly, she will help President-elect Trump drain the swamp in Washington by sending control of our K-12 education system from Washington back to state and local decision makers.

Ms. DeVos is a proponent of rigorous academic standards, and she believes those standards should be decided at the local level without federal interference. Some pot-stirrers purposely conflate any and all support for high standards with the Washington overreach that occurred six years around Common Core State Standards. But the fact is the federal government today is prohibited from encouraging or coercing states to adopt any specific set of academic standards. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) has been the law of the land since 2015; its enactment effectively put an end to Common Core.

If anyone still has questions about Ms. DeVos’ commitment to pursuing conservative education reforms, I would ask them to consider the thunderous opposition her nomination is receiving from the political Left. The nation’s teachers unions, their allies in the media, and the national Democrat Party have attacked Ms. DeVos repeatedly for her efforts to give children the right to attend high-performing charter and private schools. Liberals have even attempted to vilify Ms. DeVos for being a Christian who is guided by her faith, and they have ridiculously questioned her qualifications for the job, even though she has been on the frontlines, fighting for conservative education reforms for nearly three decades.

The reality is there is no stronger conservative in America who is better prepared to usher in the education reforms required to equip our kids with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the modern economy than Betsy DeVos. President-elect Trump has made an inspired choice for Secretary of Education. Ms. DeVos is a strong conservative with an impeccable record of taking on liberal special interest groups and powerful unions to give kids the educations they deserve. I am confident she will work hand-in-hand with Donald Trump to raise the bar on education, increase parental control in our schools and promote real choice in education that allows children greater access to private schools, while preserving the rights of parents to homeschool.

I strongly urge the U.S. Senate to confirm one of the strongest and most dedicated conservatives I have known. Betsy DeVos will take on entrenched liberal special interests at every turn to advance a conservative education reform agenda that is rooted in an unwavering commitment to always do what’s best for children, especially at-risk students who have too often been failed by an unresponsive bureaucracy and the excuses of teachers’ unions who care more about the job security of adults than the futures of the children they are paid to educate.

Jan Brewer is the former Governor of Arizona.