President-elect Donald Trump has picked Betsy DeVos to head the U.S. Education Department. DeVos is infamous for leading the crusade to create private school vouchers, but she’s also known for her Wild West approach to charter schools – and that should worry religious-liberty watchdogs.
Editor’s Note: Liz Hayes is Americans United’s new assistant director of communications. In this blog post, she explains what motivated her to want to work for Americans United.
I was born, raised and worked as a journalist for nearly 15 years in western Pennsylvania in the suburbs of Pittsburgh – the politically purple borderlands where liberalism drains into the conservative rural vastness that smears the center of the state red.
President-elect Donald Trump has tapped Betsy DeVos as his nominee for Secretary of Education, despite the fact that she has no experience with public education. Instead, DeVos has led the crusade to create taxpayer-funded private school voucher programs, which undermine our public schools. What’s more, vouchers don’t improve educational outcomes, they lack accountability and oversight, they fund schools that discriminate and violate religious freedom.
Americans United is hard at work sounding the alarm about some of the people President-elect Donald Trump has tapped to serve in his cabinet.
Among the most troubling is Betsy DeVos, Trump’s pick to run the U.S. Department of Education. DeVos has no experience with public education. In fact, she’s hostile to the concept. DeVos has devoted much of her time over the years to prioritizing and promoting private school voucher plans.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State has been fighting for church-state separation for 70 years. A vital part of our work has always involved listening to the voices of young people who find new and effective ways to speak out for religious freedom and stand up to those who use religion to harm others.
Each year, Americans United recognizes a young person under the age of 25 who has advocated for religious freedom and church-state separation in their community with the David Norr Youth Activist Award.
Donald Trump said a lot of strange things while running for president, but among the most curious was this claim: “The Christians are being treated horribly because we have nobody to represent the Christians. Believe me, if I run and I win, I will be the greatest representative of the Christians they’ve had in a long time.”
It’s the most wonderful time of the year – or not. The holiday season means something or nothing to many people. For the Religious Right, ‘tis the season for resurrecting the bogus “War on Christmas.”