Betsy DeVos to be Secretary of Education

power-money-trap-5441169For those of you who are concerned about the role of billionaire philanthropists in education, you have a bigger worry.  Betsy DeVos has been an avid advocate for private school vouchers.  DeVos is from Michigan, a state with rampant charter school scandals.  She was also chairwoman of Alliance for School Choice and the All Schools Matter PAC as well as a board member of a number of other education organizations.  She points to Florida as her biggest success with the American Federation for Children which supported the corporate tax credit scholarship program.  Her ties to Florida also include Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education where she is a board member.

Some people grow into a job, but DeVos’ past is likely to be her prologue.  She had experience with a private school where parents were working hard to help their children succeed.  From that beginning, she evidently generalized that private schools were better than public ones.  Parents who chose to leave public schools, one assumes, will try harder to help their children succeed.  The end result is increased segregation, less choice and little accountability.

Posted in Department of Education, Florida, Public Education, Tax credit scholarships, US Government, Vouchers.

One Comment

  1. LWVNM has a new charter school position that shows where we stand. We need to stand together to fight all attempts to drain essential resources from traditional public schools!
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    LWVNM Charter School Regulation Position
    Adopted 2016
    The League of Women Voters of New Mexico believes that every student should have access to a high quality, publicly funded education regardless of race, ethnicity, family income, or geographical location. The League believes in accountability, transparency, and equity in the use of public funds for education.

    Charter schools are discretionary programs intended to fill unmet needs and/or to test innovative instructional strategies to produce quality educational outcomes. Policy makers must ensure that adequate funds are available for traditional public schools and define how charter schools fill unmet needs. Appropriate instructional and support services must be provided to meet the diverse needs of individual students.
    Regarding the mission of charter schools, the LWVNM believes that:

    • A charter school should not be authorized unless
    its mission would serve a need the traditional schools cannot;
    funds are available;
    there is a demonstrated need based on student population projections.

    • New Mexico should provide flexibility and supplemental funding for magnet programs and career academies within traditional public schools.

    • Charter school innovations demonstrated to be effective should be disseminated to improve the traditional public education system.

    • The state should establish a closure policy revoking the contract of a charter school that fails to meet minimum academic, financial, and organizational standards for two consecutive years or for two of the three most recent years.

    For the sake of assuring accountability and transparency and minimizing the fiscal impact, LWVNM recommends that:

    • A charter school’s finances should be available for public scrutiny, and budget processes should be similar to those for school districts, which require the public to be provided with an opportunity for input into decision-making.

    • Charter school governing council members should adhere to standards and best practices as delineated by the NM School Boards Association.

    • The school funding formula should be equitable so as not to advantage charter schools over traditional public schools.

    • NM should develop an effective performance-based accountability system for charter schools focused on increased proficiency, academic growth, and college/career readiness standards to ensure that charter schools demonstrate positive student outcomes. Charter schools that do not meet the established benchmarks should be put on time-limited improvement plans and not allowed to increase enrollment until they have met the benchmarks.

    LWVNM believes that public funding for virtual schools should be less per student since the schools do not require brick and mortar facilities.
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    For more information about the League’s formal two-year comprehensive Charter School Regulation Study and how this position was determined through research and member consensus, please contact president@lwvnm.org. This position will be incorporated into LWVNM’s complete Education position available at http://lwvnm.org/positions.html#education
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