"In nominating DeVos, Trump makes it loud and clear that his education policy will focus on privatizing, defunding, and destroying public education in America." —Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers
"She has lobbied for failed schemes, like vouchers—which take away funding and local control from our public schools—to fund private schools at taxpayers' expense," García continued. "These schemes do nothing to help our most-vulnerable students while they ignore or exacerbate glaring opportunity gaps. She has consistently pushed a corporate agenda to privatize, de-professionalize, and impose cookie-cutter solutions to public education. By nominating Betsy DeVos, the Trump administration has demonstrated just how out of touch it is with what works best for students, parents, educators, and communities."
Similarly, American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten called DeVos "the most ideological, anti-public education nominee put forward since President Carter created a Cabinet-level Department of Education."
"In nominating DeVos," Weingarten said, "Trump makes it loud and clear that his education policy will focus on privatizing, defunding, and destroying public education in America."
Indeed, Chalkbeat earlier this week listed "a few things we could reasonably surmise from a DeVos pick." Among them was that Trump is now likely to go through with his plan "to use federal funds to encourage states to make school choice available to all poor students, including through vouchers that allow families to take public funding to private schools."
"That's exactly what DeVos has zealously worked to make happen on a state-by-state basis for decades," the outlet wrote. "In 2000, she helped get a ballot measure before Michigan voters that would have enshrined a right to vouchers in the state's Constitution. After the measure failed, she and her husband formed a political action committee to support pro-voucher candidates nationally. Less than a decade later, the group counted a 121-60 win-loss record."
Wealthy DeVos—who served as head of the Michigan Republican Party from 1996 to 2000 and again from 2003 to 2005—is "a Michigan power broker and major donor to the GOP and its candidates around the country," the Washington Post reports. She leads the American Federation for Children, described by teacher and education commentator Peter Greene as "a dark money group that works [for] school privatization," and is married to Dick DeVos, an heir to the Amway fortune.