Betsy DeVos, who served as the Education Department secretary during then-President Donald Trump’s term, says she doesn’t believe the agency should exist at all.
“I don’t think the Department of Education should exist,” DeVos said at an event sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute as she promotes her new book, “Hostages No More: The Fight for Education Freedom and the Future of the American Child,” slated for release on June 21.
The College Fix adds:
Her comment garnered a smattering of applause. It took place as she and host Frederick Hess, an education expert, discussed government over-regulation and the benefits of school choice and free enterprise.
The concern over public education in America spiked as COVID-19 highlighted many of the glaring discrepancies in the American education system, she said. As the country emerges from the pandemic, many of the current trends in education policy remain anything but student-oriented, she said.
The department was created under then-Democratic President Jimmy Carter’s single term and was stood up in May 1980, an election year. His GOP opponent, Ronald Reagan, vowed to close it down because he believed that “welfare and education are two functions that should be primarily carried out at the state and local levels.”
Though he obviously did not get his wish, during his two-term tenure, Reagan moved to dramatically curb the department’s authority while also cutting its budget by 11 percent overall.
During her discussion, DeVos laid out why she believes the department should go away.
“Children became political pawns,” she said in reference to the pushback from Democrat-run cities and states to re-opening K-12 schools post-pandemic, while arguing that the situation showed a key problem in American education, namely, “how poorly the system is serving children.”
She went on to say that the pandemic should have shown educators the need to “look for something different” other than traditional public school frameworks for students.
“The one-size-fits-all policy doesn’t work in almost every situation,” she said.
The former education secretary also reminded the audience that not all Americans need a college degree — that scores of jobs are not being filled in the skilled trades that generally require a two-year course.
“There are millions of great jobs going unfilled that don’t require a college degree,” she said.
DeVos also lamented the mainstream media’s coverage of her department and the Trump administration in general when it came to their programs and policies.
“There was no intention within corporate media to give anything we did a fair shot,” DeVos said:
She gave the audience a brief highlight reel of her time in the administration, including academic deregulation, advocating for school choice, implementing a new Title IX framework that expanded due process, and defending religious freedom at the federal level.
She resigned in January 2021 shortly after the Jan. 6 riot.
While acknowledging that the Biden regime is expected to change Title IX regulations without speculating what those changes would look like, she did take umbrage with President Biden’s consideration of canceling some student loan debt.
“It’s a horrible idea, and I don’t know how anyone can defend it. All you’re doing is buying a bunch of political goodwill,” DeVos said.