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Former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who claims she is a leading champion of “education freedom,” said that she believes the Department of Education should be abolished at a conservative activist rally, the Florida Phoenix reports.
During her time working for the Trump administration, DeVos undid student loan protections, said HBCUs “were pioneers of schools choice,” ignoring the history of segregation that led them there. DeVos also restricted Title IX protections in proactively dealing with sexual assaults and now wants to undo the entity she used to work for. During the three-day “Moms for Liberty” summit in Florida, DeVos believes that all education power should go back to state governments and local school boards. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) also introduced a bill in 2021 to abolish the department through an act of Congress.
“I personally think the Department of Education should not exist,” said DeVos, author of a recent book called “Hostages No More” and a keynote speaker at the “Moms For Liberty” summit. Members of the audience leapt to their feet, cheering and applauding.
Ironically, the conference taught members from 30 states how to create conservative majorities on their local school boards. As the Florida Phoenix notes, Moms For Liberty was made in Florida, where legislation such as the “Don’t Say Gay” law and the “Stop Woke Act” were passed. The group was created to combat mask-wearing by children in schools. During the height of the pandemic in 2020, DeVos pushed for school re-openings stating, “there’s nothing in the data that suggests that kids being in school is in any way dangerous.” This alliance seemed like a no-brainer.
In a series of breakout sessions not open to the press, guest speakers instructed participants on how to recruit, vet, endorse and promote conservatives as school board candidates. Other sessions focused on legal defense of parental rights over school-board authority, strategic research, and ways to fight “gender ideology, in our schools,” “social and emotional learning” and “restorative justice.”
DeVos has also been an opponent of teachers’ unions seems to align with the message from Moms For Liberty co-founder Tiffany Justice who called unions a “K-12 cartel.” The group looks to separate teachers from unions, which Justice claimed are “imposing liberal politics in classrooms.”
Several movements are happening regarding the motion for Republicans to remake the American educational system. In states like Texas, conservative groups pour money into local school board races to censor books and continue pushing an anti-Critical Race Theory message. Senate Republicans have also tried to pass a “parental Bill of Rights” to allow parents to sue federally-funded schools.