Education Secretary Betsy Devos

In 2017 President Donald Trump announced that he would be redacting a federal policy dealing with the rights of transgender high school students. The policy in question allowed transgender students to use their preferred bathroom while attending school and was considered by many on the right to be government overreach.


The Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, publically supported this decision by the president. In a speech delivered to a group of conservative political figures, she stated that it was the right choice and that she agreed with the president’s reasoning. Reports from within the Department of Education tell a different story, however.


In one report, a representative of the gay and transgender community was assured by DeVos that she would oppose the president if he attempted to remove the policy. The same report also stated that DeVos warned employees about the policy removal hours before it was announced by the President.


It is unusual for DeVos to change her opinion or waffle when it comes to public policy. She is known by her former constituents for being steadfast, sometimes to a fault. It is this behavior that likely caught the attention of President Trump when he was choosing candidates for the position of Secretary of Education.


DeVos was the president’s second choice for the position, being chosen after his first choice declined the offer. DeVos was met with opposition by the Democrats and was faced with committee actions intended to determine if she was suitable for the role of Secretary of Education. Because of this, her confirmation was delayed and she was not officially approved until February of 2017.


During her time as Secretary of Education, DeVos has traveled to schools and education centers around the nation in an effort to raise awareness and support of her policies, which include school choice.


Under DeVos’s school choice system, students would be able to choose from a variety of public and charter schools. DeVos believes that privatization of the education system can ease some of the issues that the current system faces, such as underfunding. DeVos is also a proponent of a school voucher system, intended to limit class sizes and allow for a more personalized education.


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