POLITICS

DeVos: 'School choice' will not be mandated by Washington

Betsy DeVos, the U.S. education secretary, said Monday that although President Trump’s administration will put forward plans of a historic expansion of school choice, the ultimate decision will be left with the states, not Washington.

Politico reported that DeVos made the comments during a speech at an Indianapolis summit hosted by the American Federation for Children.

“When it comes to education, no solution, not even ones we like, should be dictated or run from Washington, D.C.,” she said.

DeVos told the Senate Health, Education and Pensions Committee in January that she would be "a strong advocate for great public schools,” but added that "if a school is troubled, or unsafe, or not a good fit for a child ... we should support a parent's right to enroll their child in a high-quality alternative."

Trump's nomination of DeVos to lead the Department of Education was harshly criticized by the teachers’ unions, who have claimed that DeVos wants to undermine the public education system, which provides instruction to more than 90 percent of the country's students.

Vince M. Bertram, the author of “One Nation Under Taught: Solving America’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Crisis, wrote that DeVos’ most important task will be to cast a vision for what education can be for our next generation to meet the demands of a global economy.

Politico reported that DeVos did not go into detail about what steps the Trump administration will take to implement its school-choice goals. She said states that opt out would be making a “terrible mistake” and will be “hurting the children and families who can least afford it.”