U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos wasn’t going to risk letting transgender employees of the Department of Education find out about the Department’s transgender policy change from a third-party source. Instead, she spoke with a representative for transgender employees before the department announced the policy shift publicly. Sources say that DeVos told the representative she didn’t want the change and even tried to stop it. However, critics say that proof of her actual resistance to the change is scant. They say DeVos told a conservative crowd from the Conservative Political Action Conference that the transgender policy was Obama overreach.
In the announcement, DeVos said that it’s up to her and others involved in education to protect the safety of students. She said that students have the right to learn in a “safe and trusted environment.” That’s something that both DeVos’ critics and supporters can agree on.
DeVos says that the Department of Education hasn’t been enforcing Obama’s policy. In fact, there’s a federal court order that prevents the Department of Education from enforcing portions of the policy even if they wanted to. They say it’s a change on paper, but the change shouldn’t directly impact any student. DeVos also calls for states and local school districts to address the issues involving transgender students as they see fit.
A charter school advocate
All eyes have been on U.S. President Donald Trump’s pick for U.S. Education Secretary because she’s a strong believer in charter schools. Her own children attended Grand Rapids Christian Schools, and she also threw her family fortune behind a charter school in the Grand Rapids area. The DeVos family has supported many Republican political candidates over the years. Betsy DeVos’ husband, Dick DeVos, ran unsuccessfully for Michigan governor. Aside from politics, the DeVos family has financially backed a number of community projects including the Grand Rapids concert hall DeVos Place.
The DeVos family: Controversial benefactors
The DeVos family remains controversial in West Michigan and throughout the world because they earned their fortune through multi-level marketing. Through Amway and a number of other companies, the family earned their money by encouraging others to sell products and recruit new sellers. Some people say that their companies prey upon desperate people and amount to nothing more than an illegal pyramid scheme. While some say that DeVos is a breath of fresh air for the Department of Education, others say that she isn’t fit for the position.
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