Betsy DeVos says she hopes Americans elect a president in 2024 who will close the Department of Education and strip powerful teacher unions of their control to champion freedom and choice in American education.
‘I don’t think there should be a federal department of education’, the former education secretary told Newstimesuk.com in an exclusive interview.
‘I am hopeful that we will elect a president who is committed to dramatically scaling back or eventually closing the Department of Education.’
The 2024 GOP presidential candidates, including former President Donald Trump, former Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley and Sen. Tim Scott, have pledged to close the Department of Education if elected president.
‘I want a president who is going to champion freedom of education,’ DeVos told Newstimesuk.com
He said the department was unfortunately ‘very union centric and union driven’, which he called ‘disgusting’.
DeVos said a future president would have to do “a lot of elbow-banging” within the department because of the “entrenched interests” of major unions desperate to “hold on to their power base.”
‘I want a president who is going to champion freedom of education. And I think there’s every argument for a person who’s not just going to talk about it, but has done it or already done it,’ DeVos told Newstimesuk.com.
‘I think this is the most important issue facing our country, because without a prepared, rising generation, we won’t have the kind of leadership and creativity and innovation that we need to sustain America. ‘
He sidestepped questions from Newstimesuk.com about whether he would actively campaign against his former boss Donald Trump. DeVos, who was still serving as education secretary on January 6, 2021, resigned the day after the attack on the Capitol.
The Biden administration deserves an ‘F’ on every measure because they’re failing education and trying to ‘radicalize’ kids by pushing gender ideology and sexuality, DeVos continued.
‘They are not focused on doing the right thing for the children, but on doing the right thing for the union…They are doing their bidding every step of the way.’
On what should be the top issue in the 2024 primaries, DeVos said the number one domestic issue is ‘educational freedom,’ or access to school choice, because students are not being properly prepared for the future.
‘So introducing freedom of education, for children, for teachers, for families, for our country to start and attend different schools is going to be the best way forward for our country.’
The secretary praised the work that Florida, Arizona and other states have done to promote school choice and educational freedom — especially after the learning losses for American children that widened during the Covid-19 pandemic.
‘The loss of learning during Covid was inexcusable and didn’t need to happen, but it is very real. But let’s be really clear – learning disabilities were happening well before Covid happened,’ DeVos told Newstimesuk.com.
He said the obvious solution to the learning curve in the United States is enacting stronger education freedom policies nationwide and allowing new providers to come into the market to help fill the void the system has created.
Creating new opportunities for learning will help children not only catch up, but also help them surpass where they might be by being in their assigned school.
The Secretary praised then-GOP Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona for helping to resolve access issues in the public school choice and educational freedom programs.
DeVos called Florida a consistent leader in education initiatives, starting with former Gov. Jeb Bush and continuing to the present day under the DeSantis administration.
‘Governor Jeb Bush when he was governor he launched a statewide education school choice initiative and you know how it’s been extended term after term and now they’ve passed a universal law in Florida.’
DeVos called Florida a consistent leader in education initiatives
DeVos’ passion for education began 35 years ago when her oldest son, now 41, was starting kindergarten.
She told Newstimesuk.com that she began her life’s dedication to the issue during the process of finding the ‘right school’ for her son and volunteering there during his initial enrollment days.
‘The more I got involved, the more I saw how unfair it was, that our policies only supported sending families to the schools they were assigned to – if they weren’t wealthy enough to pay a tuition cheque.
‘And so that’s what started my interest in education and education, policy, and ultimately freedom of education,’ DeVos continued.
Looking to the future, DeVos plans to continue advocating for education freedom policies across the state.
He warned that until the United States “completely changes the structure and formula of how we do K-12 education,” the same problems will not go away.
‘My passion has not abated. It’s only gotten stronger,’ she vowed.
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