President and 1968 Wharton graduate Donald Trump’s billionaire nominee for the typically uncontroversial secretary of education position, Betsy DeVos, has faced substantial scrutiny.
A former chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party and staunch supporter of privatizing public education through school choice vouchers and charter schools, DeVos has reformed education in Michigan for years, .
While many of DeVos’ positions on issues surrounding higher education remain unclear, the clearer aspects of her record have come under criticism by progressives, including her stance on sexual assault, LGBTQ rights and student debt.
During DeVos’ Senate confirmation hearing, she said it would be “premature” to make a statement regarding whether she will revoke the standing policy requiring college campuses to report sexual assaults according to uniform standards, .
She has donated thousands of dollars to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which advocates for free speech and individual and religious liberties in higher education, .
DeVos her husband have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Focus on the Family, a Christian conservative organization which supports conversion therapy, according to The Guardian. Although DeVos has not professed anti-LGBTQ views, donations such as these worry civil rights activists, .
As Trump’s secretary of education, DeVos will implement policies reflecting Trump’s student loan position. Trump has denounced the amount of government profit generated from student loans, which could signal an effort to reduce the student loan interest rate, Trump has also said that universities with considerable endowments, like Penn, should lower tuition costs to retain their tax-exempt statuses.
Critics of DeVos claim she has numerous conflicts of interest and no experience relevant to the office, according to . The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions has postponed DeVos’ confirmation vote shortly after receiving a report on the billionaire from the Office of Government Ethics.
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