EDUCATION SECRETARY BETSY DEVOS MEETS WITH HOMESCHOOL ADVOCATES: DeVos spent roughly 45 minutes late Monday afternoon listening to the needs of homeschooling families during a meeting with officials from the Home School Legal Defense Association. William Estrada, director of federal relations with the group, tells Morning Education they sought to convey to DeVos that homeschooling shouldn’t be included in any efforts to use public funds for vouchers because homeschoolers don’t want the government regulation that could come with it. They also conveyed to DeVos that homeschoolers should continue to have their diplomas treated “fairly” so they have access to federal aid once they enter higher education – something that’s previously been spelled out in department guidance. Estrada said the meeting was a “true meeting of the minds” and DeVos was “very supportive.”
– The group’s meeting with DeVos included Mike Smith, a founder of the group, and Tricia Powell, a local parent who homeschools her children, Estrada said. DeVos has previously expressed support for homeschooling, and the group backed her during her Senate confirmation process. “It was very clear that she’s an advocate for all students, all children, whether they are in public schools, private schools or home schools, and we appreciated having the opportunity to chat with her,” Estrada said.”
Politico also reports that Minnesota legislators have passed a tax credit bill that will enable wealthy individuals and corporations to give their taxes to a private corporation that turns them into vouchers. Governor Mark Dayton has said he will veto any voucher bills but this one is embedded in the state budget.
Let’s hope that Governor Dayton vetoes this program and forced the legislature to strip out the vouchers.