Published: Tue, May 23, 2017
USA | By Kelli Rowe

Ed Secy DeVos pushes school choice, but gives no specifics

Ed Secy DeVos pushes school choice, but gives no specifics

From Washington D.C.to Indianapolis, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos made an appearance Monday evening at a policy summit where she talked about Trump's administration on the role of federal government in education.

She told attendees at a pro-school choice conference in Indianapolis that it is important to provide not only options in education, but also "the widest number of quality options".

"These students - and millions and millions more just like them - from every race, from every background, from our cities, our suburbs and rural America - they are why we care; they are why we fight; they are why we will never, ever back down in our effort to give them the great education they deserve". IN has one of America's largest and fastest-growing school voucher programs to give low-income families scholarships to help pay private school tuition.

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DeVos addressed the crowd at the American Federation for Children's dinner at the Westin hotel where she said the federal budget, set to be unveiled Tuesday, will include incentives for states to implement school choice programs. "They'll be the ones who will have to explain to their constituent parents why they are denying their fundamental right to choose what type of education is best for their child", she said.

"If a state doesn't want to participate, that would be a bad mistake on their part", DeVos said. She says if states don't participate, "They will be hurting the children and families who can least afford it". If politicians in a state block education choice, it means those politicians do not support equal opportunity for all kids. "More than 80,000 students take advantage of the state's public and private school choice program".

DeVos pointed out that a Democrat in Milwaukee was an early champion of school choice and that she believes education is a non-partisan issue, though DeVos and school voucher programs have traditionally been championed by Republicans.

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DeVos is slated to testify before a House appropriations subcommittee about the Trump education budget on Wednesday. These policies have already failed children and families in MI and now Secretary DeVos wants to implement them nationwide.

"The budget broadly is going to focus on what works for students", DeVos said in an interview with CBS4, declining to offer specifics on how the federal funds would be used. MI used to be one of the top states in the nation when it came to educational performance.

About 400 students rejected Holland schools for Black River Public School, a charter school about a mile away that is 75 percent white, and more than 250 others travel a bit further away to Zeeland or Hamilton to attend schools that are more than 80 percent white.

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DeVos cited an example of a young man in CT who attended an assigned high school which he described as "nothing more than adult daycare, a unsafe daycare", where the students controlled the school.

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