Betsy DeVos Admits She’s Using Pandemic To Impose Private School Choice Agenda

Julie Zheng

Betsy DeVos was trying to redirect coronavirus relief funds away from public schools to private schools.

During an interview with Cardinal Timothy Dolan last month, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos admitted that she was trying to “utilize this particular crisis to ensure that justice is finally done to our kids and the parents who choose to send them to faith-based schools,” according to Salon

  • When DeVos was asked whether she used the pandemic to push her private school choice agenda, she replied, “yes, absolutely.”
  • Angela Morabito, a spokeswoman for the Department of Education, defended DeVos’ comments saying that the agenda “does not mean she is favoring any one type of school over another.”
  • Rather than allocating the funds based on the number of impoverished students, DeVos said that states should use the total number of students the school serves. This move would redirect the aid away from public schools with many poor children to private schools serving wealthier students. 

Many lawmakers criticized this move. 

  • The chairman of the Senate Education Committee, Sen. Lamar Alexander, said that “the money should have been distributed in the same way we distribute Title I money.”
  • Democrats warned that “given that the guidance contradicts the clear requirements of the CARES Act, it will cause confusion among states and local education agencies that will be uncertain of how to comply with both the department’s guidance and the plain language of the CARES Act.”

“The actions of the Department of Education have left states and districts stuck between compliance with the law and adhering to ideologically motivated guidance,” said Bobby Scott, House Education Chairman. 

Read the full story here. 

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