Betsy DeVos, who served as the U.S. Secretary of Education under former President Donald Trump, has called for the abolishment of the Department of Education.
Speaking at the “Moms for Liberty” summit, DeVos said the federal government should be removed from education, leaving it to state and local governments.
“I personally think the Department of Education should not exist,” said DeVos, prompting a loud standing ovation from members of the audience, according to Florida Phoenix.
Though DeVos acknowledged the good that teachers serve, including those in attendance at the summit, she blasted teachers unions as a “K-12 cartel.”
The summit largely focused on how conservatives could win majorities in local school board elections with an aim to empower parental rights. The group “Moms for Liberty” sprung about in Florida during the pandemic in opposition to children being forced to mask in schools. As the summit unfolded, various speakers instructed participants on how to select and promote conservatives in local school board elections while other workshops instructed parents on legal strategies when battling far-left agendas like “gender ideology, in our schools,” “social and emotional learning” and “restorative justice.”
During her tenure with the Trump administration, DeVos supported school choice but sparked criticism when she unveiled a federalized school choice plan, which opponents felt defeated the purpose of school choice.
“It’s wonderful that the Administration wants to advance school choice but a nationwide federal tax-credit scholarship program is the wrong way to do it,” said Lindsey Burke, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Education Policy. “This could open the door for further education regulations down the road that neutralize the advantages of private education as well as impede future tax reform efforts.”
“Future administrations could use a federal tax-credit scholarship to require that schools adhere to certain admissions and accountability policies,” she added. “That would mean the federal government could further dictate testing, reporting, academic content, and even bathroom policies for all schools involved.”