Valerie Strauss Recaps Betsy DeVos’s Testimony about the Budget and Civil Rights

I confess. I didn’t watch Betsy DeVos testify. I didn’t want to. No one pays me to blog every day, so I have some discretion in how I use my time. What I did instead, which was very taxing, was to watch preview DVDs on the PBS special “School Inc.,” because I have been invited to tape a response for Channel 13, New York City’s PBS station. It is worse than anything you anticipated in terms of distortion, inaccuracies, slander of public schools, and adulation of the free market. Maybe I should have watched DeVos.

Valerie Strauss did watch DeVos. Here is her report.

She made clear that she would not put any limits on for-profit education companies. She recommended virtual charters to an Alabama senator, although even the charter industry has called out online schools for their poor academic results.

And here is a key quote:

“She was asked repeatedly whether private schools that would be part of the administration’s proposed program to fund and study a new voucher program would be subject to federal discrimination and special education laws, and she repeatedly said, “Schools that receive federal funds must follow federal law.””

As our reader Laura Chapman pointed out in a comment, voucher funds are always defended by the assertion that the public money goes to the family, not the school. Tax credits for vouchers go to corporations who pay for vouchers. Every voucher program operates under the fiction that the public money does not go to the school.

The money is laundered through the family or third parties.

So DeVos is cleverly masking the fact that federal law will not apply to schools that receive federal funds.

It is a three-card Monte game.

from sarah


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