The Federal government’s main role in Education is to enforce the 14th Amendment rights of vulnerable children.
For example, programs like IDEA (special needs children), Title I (for students in poverty) and Title IX (equality of boys and girls). These programs were made to help achieve that goal. This hits home because my brother is special needs, and my mom has been an ESE job coach for 20+ years. She and many of her colleagues see DeVos’s appointment as cause for concern.
Unfortunately, too many (not all) states and districts try to avoid providing required services for special needs children. Often, it’s only fear of DOE enforcement that keeps them in line.
Betsy DeVos seems completely ignorant of these programs. She was not able to speak to them at her confirmation hearing. And she seemingly has no interest in enforcing them. If your child is poor, female, or disabled (learning, physically, etc.), you can expect the Department of Education to now do little or nothing for your child.
Betsy DeVos appears to be interested in two things. First, to replace public schools with for-profit schools. And secondly, to implement School Choice, a euphemism for resegregation. Regrettably, the end-result of School Choice is that families with cars and time drive their children to richer districts while poor children lacking a ride out of the ghetto stay behind.
School Choice = Resegregation. Never forget it.
This means we may now be depending on the court system to protect the most vulnerable children. Ideally the Secretary of Education should be doing this. To me, this is the main reason DeVos’s nomination and confirmation are so frustrating.
As I mentioned, my brother went to school as an ESE student, and my mom worked as an ESE job coach. This has been the case under both Republican and Democratic administrations. Federal support for special needs programs has never been a concern, until now.
Boy, I hope I’m wrong about her, but I don’t think she was nominated to prove people like me wrong.