WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 28: U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos testifies during a Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee discussing proposed budget estimates and justification for FY2020 for the Education Department on March 28, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
UPDATED 3:00 PM PT – Monday, July 18, 2022
Former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said she personally believes the Department of Education should not exist. DeVos made the comment during the inaugural Moms for Liberty summit in Florida over the weekend.
Moms for Liberty is a conservative nonprofit founded in Florida that advocates for parents to have more influence over public school decisions. The organization first received national attention when it fought against mask mandates in schools and later when it opposed curriculum related to LGBTQ rights, race and discrimination.
“There are a lot of really nice and well-meaning people there,” DeVos voiced. “I don’t mean to disparage them in any way, but they are definitely oriented around being in their roles for probably most of their careers, if not all of them.”
The former Trump administration official has previously said she had to work around most of the career staff at the agency in order to advance any creative reforms. During an event organized by the American Institute Enterprise last month, DeVos described dealing with an agency full of career bureaucrats.
“Really for any of the creative reforms that we advanced we really had to essentially work around most of the career staff,” she said. “Because there were very few who would actually get the work done that needed to be done or would present options that weren’t even close to what we were attempting to do.”
She claimed that many of the staff inside the department “don’t have insight” into how other countries around the world deal with education. During her tenure, DeVos controversially worked to reduce her department’s authority over schools. She introduced cuts to federal education spending and rolling back federal guidelines in favor of letting states and local districts decide their own policy.
Her comments come after Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) introduced a bill to abolish the agency back in 2021.