DeVos might not serve as ed secretary if Trump re-elected
Baltimore — Betsy DeVos hinted Monday that should President Donald Trump get re-elected in 2020 that she might not serve as education secretary during his second term.
“I’m not sure my husband would be OK with that,” said DeVos of her husband, Dick DeVos, a former Michigan gubernatorial candidate, after hesitating before delivering her response.
Betsy DeVos, a Michigan native and one of the longest-serving members of the Trump administration, spoke to the 72nd gathering of the Education Writers Association on Monday. It was the first time she had addressed the gathering since leading the education department.
During a personal reflection Monday, DeVos said education is an issue she thinks about often, but she never imagined she would be a focus of the media’s coverage.
“I don’t enjoy the publicity that comes with my position. I don’t love being up on stage or on any kind of platform. I’m an introvert,” DeVos said. “As much as many in the media use my name as clickbait or try to make it all about me, it’s not. … It’s about students.”
DeVos was also pressed on whether she has spoken to any sexual assault victims outside of Title IX listening sessions in 2017.
DeVos has proposed changing federal guidance on Title IX, including a provision that gives more rights to students accused of sexual assault, which has infuriated many who say they have been victims of sexual assault, including those impacted by Larry Nassar, the disgraced former Michigan State University sports medicine doctor.
“I personally have not had another formal session," DeVos said. "But I have definitely heard from a number of other individuals. Yes. I would just say also there are many others on my team and in the department that have also listened to and taken lots of information in that process."
When asked by a reporter why she has not visited any schools in Detroit — where more children attend charter schools than traditional public schools and where data shows both types of schools are among the lowest performing in the nation — DeVos, a major charter schools advocate, said she visited a number of schools in Detroit before taking the job as education secretary.
She did not identify the schools or date of the visits.
“I worked in Michigan a long, long time and will continue to advocate for Michigan and for opportunity for all students,” DeVos said.
DeVos went on to say that Michigan does not have “wide open choice,” only the option to offer charter schools. Other states have voucher programs and other options for charter school choice.
“In my book, that is one step toward choice. But that is not education freedom,” said DeVos of Michigan’s charter school system.