Why I’m voting for Biden: I believe in public education

September 12, 2020

Actions taken by Republican administrations over the last 20 years have consistently undermined schools and defunded education. Republicans give their education proposals and programs clever labels that are the opposite of what they actually do, from the Bush era “No Child Left Behind Act” to the Trump era “Every Student Succeeds Act.”

Betsy DeVos, the pyramid scheme heiress now in charge of public education in the United States, has enacted policies that are shortsighted at best and immoral at worst, as they have deliberately undermined the work being done by public school educators and diverted funding from struggling schools into voucher and charter school programs.

I have no doubt there are good teachers working in charter schools, but I cannot support public money being siphoned from where it is badly needed and sent to programs without any oversight or accountability. If you need some light reading, click here.

If that’s not enough, DeVos is also a cheerleader and defender of for-profit colleges –– she’s worked to eliminate the rules that limit their abuses and made it easier for them to convince students into taking on excessive debts for worthless degrees.

DeVos has no experience as an educator, an education leader, or in public education policy, and she has no interest in actually improving public education.  But why should her lack of credibility and experience matter? Her family has donated more than $200 million to Republican candidates over the last 30 years. This is the standard “pay for play” that we’ve seen from Trump’s appointments –– big donors get cabinet positions and ambassadorships, and the rest of us have to suffer.

It’s been amazing to watch how many Republicans have demanded that their schools reopen this fall as the coronavirus epidemic has taken hold –– perhaps they’ve realized public education is providing them with something after all. What would be even more amazing is if those same Republicans realized that it might just be time to start funding public education properly and standing up for it in the voting booth.