Fmr Obama Ed Transition Member: ‘Very Excited’ About DeVos, Carson Could Make ‘Huge Difference’

On Friday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends,” school choice advocate, former Obama education transition team member, the Education Policy Committee for Obama’s 2008 campaign, and former DC City Councilman Kevin Chavous (D) praised Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos as someone who will make “a huge difference” for education and touted her support of school choice, and stated that there was a “good opportunity” for Dr. Ben Carson to make a difference if he was selected as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Chavous said, “I’ve worked closely with Betsy DeVos. I’m very excited about her being there. Of course, there’s a lot of people who are going to come out against it, but the most important thing to know about Betsy is she cares about kids, and she puts kids first. This idea of having expanded school choice, quality options for working and low-income minority parents, is a big deal. I mean, I think if we fix education, we fix poverty in America. Betsy gets that, and I think one of things that she’s also going to bring to the table, this is very important, on the heels of a divisive campaign, she’s a natural consensus builder, and she understands the need to collaborate. She’s worked for folks like [Sen.] Cory Booker and [fmr. Sen.] Joe Lieberman (I-CT), some on our board. So, I think having this collaborative approach to promoting school choice, she’s going to make a huge difference for school and education in America.”

He added that there was “a real good opportunity for Ben Carson to make a huge difference. As you said, his background in Detroit, he understands what it feels like to grow up poor in a working-class inner city community. … If President-Elect Trump is serious about helping to fix what’s going on in our inner cities, you can do some really good things with HUD. I remember Jack Kemp years ago, created this approach where he empowered low-income public housing residents into home ownership, made a big difference in our cities around america, and when I was on the City Council in DC, I worked with [fmr. HUD Secretary and current New York Governor] Andrew Cuomo (D) for block grant funding for targeted development. I think that Ben Carson can do a lot of those kinds of things.”

Chavous concluded, “[T]here are a lot of folks, and you know, I fall into that category somewhat myself, that are somewhat concerned, because I did not support the president-elect, but I do that think that now, we’ve got to fly the plane while we fix it, and i think if — with some of his advisers, if Dr. Carson would really look at some of these opportunities, you can stimulate some amazing things in inner through HUD block grant opportunities, and I think we have to give him a chance, if he gets in there, and I think it’s a two-way street. He can work with elected leaders. He can empower the clergy to work with him. There is all these kind of opportunities. We need to excite possibilities and not destroy them before they happen.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett