DeVos: Axing Dept. of Education Should Be in GOP Platform Former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
By Brian Freeman | Wednesday, 27 July 2022 10:26 AM EDT
Former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said her idea of eliminating the department should be made part of the Republican Party platform, the Washington Examiner reported on Wednesday.
DeVos, who served as education secretary during the Trump administration, bewailed "the spending that we have done at the federal level – over a trillion dollars since this department was opened [more than 40 years ago] to close achievement gaps. Before the pandemic, the achievement gaps hadn't narrowed one little bit. In fact, they were widened in most cases."
DeVos insisted that the only reason that President Jimmy Carter established the Department of Education was as a "political payoff" to teachers unions for endorsing his candidacy.
DeVos, speaking with reporters at the Young America's Foundation National Conservative Student Conference, said "we have to stop doing what we've been doing and do something completely different," adding that there should be "a return to states setting the policy" and providing parents with the "finances for their kids education."
DeVos has remained active in Republican politics since the end of the Trump administration and released a book last month about the state of the nation's education called "Hostages No More: The Fight for Education Freedom and the Future of the American Child."
DeVos called Michigan Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer a "disaster" and encouraged Republican primary voters to back Tudor Dixon for the Republican nomination in the state's primary next week.
"I think education is going to be a very key issue in Michigan, and those two could not be more diametrically opposed on what they think the solutions are," DeVos said. "We've seen Gov. Whitmer veto and turn down every attempt to empower parents to give families choices and to really make a difference for kids in Michigan. On the other hand, Tudor is very supportive of those very issues."
DeVos told the Washington Examiner that education is an issue "conservatives can and should embrace heartily and without reservation."
"If you don't get education right, if kids don't prepare and aren't educated to take over as the next generation of leaders, we are all at a disadvantage," she said. "This is a macro issue for our country, and it's a micro issue on the most personal level for every single child who doesn't get that opportunity to become everything he or she can be."