The Washington Post’s Emma Brown reports that school choice advocates are becoming more sharply divided over President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee, billionaire Betsy DeVos for education secretary. DeVos has caused concern among teachers unions and traditional public school advocates who see her controversial work in Michigan to expand taxpayer-funded vouchers for private and religious schools as a threat to public education if given the new position.
Some charter school advocates are cheering what they see as an opportunity to enhance their cause and give school choice a national platform. Others however, fear that Trump and DeVos could split the bipartisan alliances that have aided vouchers and charters in expanding over the last 20 years.
Advocates also worry that Trump’s rhetoric and sharp tone about immigrants, people of color, inner cities and women could cause a loss in support from key Democrats and other people of color who have worked to build substantive reform with advocates. DeVos is expected to push for rapid expansion of vouchers and charters as she previously did in Michigan. Her expansion record showed little regard for school quality ultimately undermining advocates’ argument for choice. Read more here.