President Trump recently redacted a policy that allowed transgender students in public schools to use the bathrooms that match the gender they identify with. Betsy DeVos, the secretary of education, met with a member of the Education Department before the change in policy was made public to inform them of the impending change.
DeVos and her aides assured employees that she had openly opposed the change; however, she had previously made no mention of her opposition to the policy and appeared to support the change once it was formally announced. On the other hand, though, people who personally know Betsy have warned naysayers not to think that she will be quick to side with the popular Republican opinion. They say that, although she is gracious in public, even when facing a setback, she’s earned a reputation of being a relentless political fighter over the years. In fact, she’s often used her family’s wealth to reward those who have stood beside her while working to create legislation that supports her vision, no matter what it takes.
Although she came to Washington D.C. with little experience and a sparse relationship with the President, she managed to land the role of Secretary of Education. Unfortunately, when the argument about bathroom use for transgender students came up, Betsy was at a disadvantage against experienced politician Jeff Sessions.
Although she may have lost this battle, many who know her say they expect she’ll learn her way around and start to win more battles. But, as billionaires and private school advocates, many have accused the DeVos family of not really understanding the struggles the public school system faces or what it’s like for middle class people trying to afford an education.
For about 30 years, Betsy was a public advocate of charter schools and fought very hard to take away money from public schools and instead give it to charter schools. Some feel that this is all part of a plan to eliminate public education by taking away all of its resources. Those in support of the plan argue that it helps give lower income families a choice between public and private education and puts pressure on schools to improve educational standards.
DeVos has certainly not had an easy run in Washington so far. She’s been widely criticized for her limited knowledge of the education system and her shaky answers during public interviews. Friends of Betsy’s say that she is not pleased with her portrayal, but she doesn’t feel like those who are criticizing her are worth responding to, and she’ll persevere no matter what’s being written about her.
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