Republicans Confirm DeVos for Department of Education: You Broke It, You Own It

Republicans Back DeVos on Department of Education: You Broke It, You Own It

It wasn’t just President Trump, it wasn’t just VP Pence who cast the vote breaking the tie, it required all 50 remaining Republican Senators to make Betsy DeVos the Secretary of Education. Each Republican Senator, except the two heroic defectors, Senators Murkowski and Collins, will be responsible for every demonstration following every act of Secretary DeVos against public schools and their school teachers. Every one of those Senators will grimace, and have to dodge around, every conflict of interest that arises when DeVos acts and profits from many of her unresolved conflicts of interest. Every one of those Senators will cringe when in a news conference, Secretary DeVos does not understand an issue or even a question. Every one of the them will be blamed when the DOE starts funding a vast number of parochial schools, and for-profit charter schools.

Enough of the public shaming, as Bernie Sander’s would say. Time for some facts. 90% of K-12 students are in public schools. There are 50 million public school students, and 20 million college students. Less than 10% of funding for K-12 comes from the federal government (npr.org).

A key issue is government loans to students of for profit colleges, which have been finally carefully regulated by President Obama, since they were involved in fraud and predatory lending, with little to show for it in terms of obtaining jobs. Will Trump drop restrictions on these bad business practices? Probably, as he has on banks and predatory security salespersons.

Will Trump require schools to turn over all suspected undocumented children, under threat of cutting off all federal funding to the school? I’ll let you answer that one. Trump has ordered the executive departments to find ways to cut off federal funds to Sanctuary cities and probably Sanctuary states, if states go that way.

Will the DoE convert all federal support to free choice state vouchers and close the DoE, as many presidential candidates have threatened?

Will Trump abolish the Common Core, which is actually not a federal requirement but an optional state one? Of course.

Will private and elite universities and colleges screen students depending if they went to parochial schools? If the schools treat both creationism and evolution, etc., I don’t see why they should. Some of the parochial schools may be of high quality.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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