Trump Picks Betsy DeVos As Education Secretary
Picking the Republican mega donor will please mainstream Republicans but may anger some of Trump’s far-right supporters.
Donald Trump has appointed Republican megadonor Betsy DeVos as his education secretary, in a move that is likely to appease mainstream Republicans but will also upset some of his most passionate supporters, who are deeply opposed to the Common Core education initiative that DeVos has supported.
DeVos is well-connected in Washington and on Capitol Hill, where she aligns closely with Senator Lamar Alexander, a top-ranking Republican who chairs the senate committee on education.
Trump called DeVos a “brilliant and passionate education advocate,” in a statement announcing her selection. “Under her leadership we will reform the U.S. education system and break the bureaucracy that is holding our children back,” he said.
While DeVos is well-regarded by many Republicans, a number of conservative websites and activist parent organizations have already denounced her due to her position on Common Core. DeVos sits on the board of several organizations that support the Common Core, including the Jeb Bush-backed Foundation For Excellence in Education.
“If Trump wants to increase school choice and be known as a president who dramatically improved education options for kids, he needs to send DeVos packing,” wrote Joy Pullman, managing editor of conservative site The Federalist, in response to BuzzFeed News reporting on Monday that DeVos was a leading contender for the post.
Pullman said she would “now commit seppuku” as DeVos emerged as the most likely pick.
DeVos has long been an active player in Republican politics, with deep pockets enabling her to act as a leading donor to conservative causes. Her husband Jim DeVos is an heir to the Amway fortune and member of a prominent family of conservative donors, and her brother Erik Prince founded Blackwater, the private mercenary business that rose to infamy during the Iraq War.
Molly Hensley-Clancy is a business reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. She covers the intersection of business and education.
Contact Molly Hensley-Clancy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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