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State Board of Education member Mary Scott Hunter, R-Huntsville, said that while many will talk about DeVos’ commitment to charter schools, school choice is a state decision. Meanwhile, new ESSA guidelines clearly signal that federal overreach in schools will be knocked back, she said.
“So, what’s more exciting to me for Alabama is that if she can successfully reduce the size, scope and overreach of the federal Department of Education, we can do some really important things for our kids,” Hunter said.
"Trump is much more likely," Lanting says, "to bring Christ into the world."
For deeply devout people like Lanting and DeVos, that's no small detail, and education plays a key role in that mission. Since her nomination, DeVos hasn't said much publicly about her views on education—or whether she plans to defend the separation of church and state in public schools. (DeVos declined Mother Jones' request for an interview, but a Trump transition team spokeswoman replied in an email, "Mrs. DeVos believes in the legal doctrine of the separation of church and state.") However, in a 2001 interview for "The Gathering," a group focused on advancing Christian faith through philanthropy, she and her husband offered a rare public glimpse of their views. Asked whether Christian schools should continue to rely on philanthropic dollars—rather than pushing for taxpayer money through vouchers—Betsy DeVos replied, "There are not enough philanthropic dollars in America to fund what is currently the need in education…[versus] what is currently being spent every year on education in this country…Our desire is to confront the culture in ways that will continue to advance God's Kingdom."
Robert Mercer, the billionaire hedge funder, his daughter Rebekah ran one of the most important super PACs to Trump, Make America Number 1 super PAC. And Trump—and Erik Prince and his mother, Elsa, were two of the largest contributors to one of the most significant super PACs that supported Donald Trump. Erik Prince is very close to Robert Mercer. Prince was also at the "Heroes and Villains" party that Mercer threw in Long Island after the election. And, in fact, there’s a picture that Peter Thiel, the right-wing billionaire who destroyed Gawker—a picture of Peter Thiel, Donald Trump and Erik Prince, that Peter Thiel says is not safe for the internet. But it’s clear that Erik Prince, through Betsy DeVos, through Robert Mercer and through his very right-wing paramilitary crowd, has the ear of President-elect Donald Trump. And our understanding, from a very well-placed source, is that Prince has even been advising Trump on his selections for the staffing of the Defense Department and the State Department.
Federal overreach has resulted in stifling those who want education in a failed attempt to force those who don't care to care. The result is people like that guy I tutored in college math who couldn't add two double-digit numbers. That is NOT OK!
I know dozens of teachers personally from working with them on problem students. I will take you to task on this. Federal education (sub)standards are destroying our youth, and I will support anything that reverses this trend!
You can call me to task all you want...but I will never back down from insisting on quality education tailored to the student, and that EVERY SCHOOL pays their teachers the same.