Betsy Devos, the newly appointed United States Secretary of Education, was recently confirmed into her position by the United States Senate. During her confirmation speech, Mrs. Devos made it clear that her 20-year pursuit of school-choice initiatives and reform would continue during her time as the Secretary of Education. Devos addressed many concerns during her address and stated that she looked forward to the opportunity of serving American parents and students by providing them with new educational choices. Betsy Devos has, over a 25 year period, helped to provide thousands of Michigan students with school choice vouchers and helped countless other to escape failing public schools in their communities.
During her confirmation hearing, Betsy Devos was asked specifically about her concern for low-income students. Senator Bernie Sanders asked the current Education Secretary if she would partner with him to introduce free models of education to low-income students. Betsy Devos answered the senator respectfully and reminded him of her nearly 30 year history of providing school choice options primarily for low-income families. She also reminded the senator of something that any government official with the slightest amount of reasoning skills should inherently know by stating that there is no educational model that is free. Educational facilities do not operate for free as the senator seems to believe, but facilities must be paid for, electricity must be paid for, teachers of any quality and skill level must be paid for their time, and countless other costs are associated with running a school. Devos emphasized the fact that someone must pay for the “free model of education.”
A notable moment in the new Secretary’s confirmation speech was her discussion of school choice as an option for families who are fed up with public school reform. Betsy Devos stated that she was looking forward to joining in the efforts to reform the public school model due to its failing status (35 countries are currently ahead of the United States in Reading and Math). Devos also stated that she would also continue to fight for the right of parents to choose a better and more conducive model of education for their children if they so choose. Devos believes that parents should have the final word in the choice of their children’s education and has promised to work to place educational choice back in their hands. Betsy Devos, along with the rest of the Devos family, have consistently made philanthropic contributions to programs that assist low-income families with school tuition and vouchers. They have also given generously to the campaigns of legislators who seek to give new options to students of all economic backgrounds. Many American parents are relieved to have an Education Secretary who is fighting for the proper education of American students.