These short posts are part of a series to take stock of changes that may be coming during a Trump Administration.
- Betsy DeVos has no experience in public education as a student, teacher, administrator or parent of a student, but has been a huge proponent of school choice and voucher programs, and has campaigned against holding charter schools accountable based on poor results.
- While the majority of public education decisions are made on the state and local level, the Department of Education can set standards which help guide those state and local education decisions.
- DeVos may be able to direct federal funds in such a way that states which embrace voucher programs are rewarded with additional money.
- Voucher programs take money away from public schools and give it to religious and private schools as long as the students’ parents arrange transportation to and from classes. This will benefit children from wealthier families who have the means to make such arrangements, and disadvantage poorer families and their students who do not.
- The push toward states rights may mean that the Department of Education will no longer set minimum standards and each state will be allowed to decide their own criteria for graduation. Manufacturers are concerned the high skilled workforce is too small with our current education system and it seems unlikely that will improve with fifty different sets of graduation standards.