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STATEMENT: Nomination of Betsy DeVos to Serve as Next Education Secretary Shows How Trump and His Policies Are Out of Touch, Says CAP’s Catherine Brown

Washington, D.C. — Catherine Brown, Vice President of Education Policy at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement today regarding President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Betsy DeVos to serve as the next U.S. secretary of education.

The president-elect’s out-of-touch policies and personnel picks continue with his nomination of Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos to serve as our country’s next secretary of education. Troublingly, DeVos has pushed for outdated and failed education policies such as private school vouchers—which draw much-needed resources from our public school system.

Currently, we know very little about DeVos’ positions on issues related to early childhood education and postsecondary education. Today’s children and families suffer from highly uneven access to quality early education, and student debt currently stands at more than $1.3 trillion nationally. DeVos’ stark lack of a clear record in these critical subjects means that it will be incumbent upon senators to ask tough questions during the confirmation process about her plans in these areas. 

Senators should also ask about DeVos’ ability to serve and protect all of our students, especially those young people who are particularly vulnerable to bullying and mistreatment, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students. The nomination of an individual who supports organizations that promote dangerous practices like conversion therapy sends a tremendously discouraging sign to our nation’s students and stands in contrast to President-Elect Trump’s promise to serve as a president for all Americans.

By nominating a candidate with a proven record of hostility toward public education, Donald Trump is sending a troubling signal about his plans to privatize education from cradle to career, as well as scale back the Department of Education’s resources. At a time when this country is seeing all-time high graduation rates, this nomination represents a step backward for students—especially those from low-income and at-risk communities.

Related resource: Trump’s Plan to Decimate Public Education by Neil Campbell, Ulrich Boser, and Will Ragland (Center for American Progress Action Fund)

For more information or to speak with an expert, contact Allison Preiss at apreiss@americanprogress.org or 202.478.6331.