Reagan column: Behind the glare of impeachment, Secretary Devos shines
Impeach! Impeach! Impeach!
Removing Donald Trump from office before he can get re-elected is the only thing in Washington that Democrats and the national media really care about.
But while Thelma Pelosi and Louise Nadler speed down their constitutionally crooked backroad to impeachment, the Trump administration has been quietly tackling issues like education that are actually important for Americans.
Covered by the constant media glare of impeachment, for instance,Trump’s Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is doing a great job of fixing our broken public education system.
DeVos hasn’t just been delivering the usual canned speeches lamenting our sorry public schools or extolling the blessings of school choice.
She’s doing her best to get the federal government out of public education, where it never belonged.
Described on her department’s web site as “an unrelenting champion for America’s students, educators and taxpayers,” DeVos plans to do major structural things like combining the Department of Education and the Department of Labor and spinning off a new independent agency that would handle the federal government’s $1.5 trillion student-loan portfolio.
She already has a list of smaller accomplishments too long to detail.
She’s overhauled the management of her department, implemented a pro-taxpayer budget, cut staff by 10 per cent, transferred duties to other federal agencies, thrown out 29 major regulations and done her best to do what she promised she’d do from Day One – work herself out of a job.
She’s restoring local and state control of education by ending the failed Common Core program and implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act.
She’s expanded school choice opportunities in Washington, D.C. and rescinded Obama-era guidance on school discipline that tied the hands of teachers and principals.
DeVos has introduced Education Freedom Scholarships, which the department web site boasts is “the most transformative K-12 policy ever” and would provide families with up to $5 billion in scholarships to help them get the best education option possible.
Meanwhile, in higher education she’s also stuck up for free speech and religious freedom on campuses and drafted new regulations on sexual misconduct that protect survivors, hold schools accountable and ensure due process for alleged perpetrators.
It will take all of these large and small reforms, and many more, to fix our failing public schools, return genuine local control to our classrooms.
We have a long way to go to provide maximum school choice for parents – and the Democrats, unions and education industrial complex hate everything DeVos is doing.
But too bad for them.
Before Jimmy Carter invented the Department of Education in 1979, our public schools were the envy of the world. Today, 75 percent of our black and brown kids are unable to read or do math at grade level.
The federal bureaucracy in D.C. accounts for about only 9 percent of the $700 billion-plus that we spend each year on public education. But in 40 years it has managed to spend nearly a trillion bucks and done immense damage to our education system.
If I had young kids today, I wouldn’t put them in public education if all they took was recess.
I’d either homeschool them or send them to a good private school. Millions of parents would do the same if they had the choice or could afford it.
DeVos wants every kid in America to have the chance to get the same high-quality schooling hers had.
The best way to attain that goal is to get rid of the Department of Education, which is something my father said in 1979 he would do if he were elected in 1980.
Unfortunately, he was never able to fulfill that promise as president, and until Trump and DeVos came along to drain D.C.’s swamps, Carter’s gift to the teachers unions survived and grew as it slowly ruined our public schools.
It’s not hard to see why Democrats would love to impeach DeVos, too.
Send comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com. Follow @reaganworld on Twitter.
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