Homeschoolers, Betsy DeVos, and Bears, Oh My!

Since President Donald Trump selected Betsy DeVos as his nomination for U.S. Secretary of Education, the decision has been thoroughly reviewed by all sides.

Back in December, HSLDA’s Director of Federal Relations, William Estrada, outlined three things homeschoolers should know about DeVos. The list included her support for homeschooling, her opposition to Common Core State Standards, and her funding of organizations dedicated to limited government, school choice, and religious freedom.

“Homeschooling represents another perfectly valid educational option,” DeVos said in a 2013 interview with Philanthropy Magazine, where she also said her dream was to see “that all parents, regardless of their zip code, have had the opportunity to choose the best educational setting for their children, and that all students have had the opportunity to fulfill their God-given potential.”

At her confirmation hearing in January, which limited individual members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) to a five-minute round of questioning, DeVos drew criticism as “a Michigan billionaire who has no professional experience in public schools.”

“Her statement that guns should not be banned from schools because of ‘potential grizzlies’ at a rural Wyoming school became instant fodder for late-night comics,” wrote Emma Brown in The Washington Post. “Her hearing and the optics of her nomination — a wealthy political donor with no experience as an educator, who wouldn’t promise Senators that she would swear off trying to privatize public schools — have made her an object of criticism from many outside the usual Beltway education policy circles.”

To allow for more time for DeVos to respond to nearly 1,400 written questions from committee members and allow them additional time to examine ethics paperwork, the confirmation vote was pushed back a week. Currently, the vote for confirmation of DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education is scheduled for January 31.

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