DeVos vote polarizes Michigan education advocates

Feb 6, 2017

After narrowly making it out of a US Senate committee, the confirmation of U.S. Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos is scheduled for a full Senate vote early this week.

The billionaire has fought hard for the expansion of charter schools and school choice.

Gary Naeyaert is the executive director of the Great Lakes Education Project, an organization founded by the DeVos family that works to expand and support of charter schools. He says her advocacy for charter schools has helped students across the state. "The only ones advocating against charter public schools are the left-leaning extremists and the teacher’s unions," Naeyaert says, "who actually just think they know better as to where parents should be sending their kids."

Critics of DeVos say her lack of experience as an educator makes her unqualified for the position, and her policies will destroy traditional public schools.

Sam Inglot is the deputy communications director at Progress Michigan. He says "It would essentially give a billionaire family that has spent their fortune attacking public education, pushing their own vision of what private, parochial education should look like and enforcing that on the rest of the country."