Betsy DeVos says she hopes Americans elect a president in 2024 who will shut down the Department of Education and strip powerful teachers unions of their control to uphold freedom and choice in American education.
“I don’t think the Federal Department of Education should exist,” the former Education Secretary told DailyMail.com during an exclusive interview.
“It is my hope that we elect a president who is also committed to slashing or ultimately closing the Department of Education.”
GOP 2024 presidential hopefuls, including former President Donald Trump, former Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley and Sen. Tim Scott, have vowed to shut down the Department of Education if they are elected president.
“I want a president who stands up for educational freedom,” DeVos tells DailyMail.com
She said the department is unfortunately “very union-focused and union-driven,” which she calls “despicable.”
DeVos said a future president will have to “knock a lot of elbows” within the department because of the “entrenched interests” of the big unions that are desperate to “hold on to their power base.”
‘I want a president who defends educational freedom. And I think there is every argument for a person not just talking about it, but doing it or already doing it,” DeVos told DailyMail.com.
“I think this is the most important problem facing our country, because without a prepared rising generation, we’re not going to have the kind of leadership and the kind of creativity and innovation that we need to sustain the United States of America. ‘
He dodged a question from DailyMail.com whether he would actively campaign against his former boss Donald Trump. DeVos, who was still serving as education secretary on January 6, 2021, resigned the day after the attack on the Capitol.
The Biden administration deserves an ‘F’ all the way around as it is failing in education and trying to ‘radicalize’ children by pushing gender ideology and sexualization, DeVos continued.
“They are not focused on doing what is right for the children, but on doing what is right for the unions… they follow their orders at every turn.”
As for what should be the top issue in the 2024 primaries, DeVos said the number one national issue is “educational freedom,” or access to school choice, because students aren’t adequately prepared for the future.
“So introducing educational freedom, the ability to start and attend different schools, for children, for teachers, for families, for our country is going to be the best way forward.”
The secretary praised the work that Florida, Arizona and other states have done to promote school choice and educational freedom, especially after the learning loss suffered by American children, which has been amplified during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The learning loss during COVID was inexcusable and didn’t have to happen, but it is very, very real. But let’s be very clear: learning losses occurred long before COVID struck,” DeVos told DailyMail.com.
She said the clear solution to learning loss in the US is to enact strong educational freedom policies across the country and allow new providers to enter the market to help fill the void the system has left.
Creating new learning opportunities will help children not only catch up, but surpass what they might have been by staying in their assigned school.
The secretary praised then-Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey for helping resolve issues with universal school choice access and educational freedom programs.
DeVos called Florida the consistent leader in educational initiatives, beginning with former Governor Jeb Bush and continuing to this day under the DeSantis administration.
“Governor Jeb Bush introduced statewide educational school choice initiatives when he was governor and as you know that has been steadily expanded term after term and to where they have now passed a universal law in Florida as well.”
DeVos called Florida the consistent leader in educational initiatives
DeVos’ passion for education began 35 years ago when her oldest son, now 41, was starting kindergarten.
She told DailyMail.com that her life’s dedication to the issue began during the process of finding the ‘right school’ for her son and volunteering there during his first few days of enrollment.
“The more I got involved, the more I saw how unfair it was, that our policies only support sending families to the schools they are assigned to, if they are not wealthy enough to afford a tuition check.
“And that was really what sparked my interest in education and education, politics, and ultimately educational freedom,” DeVos continued.
Looking forward, DeVos plans to continue advocating for educational freedom policies in every state.
He warned that until the US completely changes the “structure and formula for how we do K-12 education,” the same problems won’t go away.
‘My passion hasn’t waned one bit. It’s only gotten stronger,’ she promised.