DeVos says Trump 'could talk about education more'

DeVos says Trump 'could talk about education more'
© Greg Nash

Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosTrump administration blocked consumer watchdog from public service loan forgiveness program: report Judge warns DeVos: 'I'm not sending anyone to jail yet' but it's an option Students ask judge to hold DeVos in contempt over debt collection MORE says that while President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio Democrats debate in Ohio: Who came out on top? MORE supports "school choice" proposals and other efforts by her department, he could discuss the issue more publicly.

“He could talk about education more," DeVos told the Detroit News in an interview published Friday. "It’s not been the top two or three items that he has been focused on. There have been a few other things that have taken his attention."

"He knows and understands instinctively that opportunity is really achieved through access to whatever is the right education for each individual,” she added.

The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.

DeVos made the remarks while visiting a charter school in Detroit, using the stop to discuss her support of charter schools, school vouchers and other school choice proposals, the Detroit News reported.

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The Education secretary said that charter schools have “proven to be a good choice” for many Michigan families, and also criticized Blaine amendments, or policies that ban direct government aid to educational institutions that have religious affiliations.

“There is choice for families who have economic means, but there is no choice for families who don’t,” DeVos said, according to the Detroit News. “[Blaine amendments are] the last acceptable form of bigotry we've continued to allow to happen in this country.”

Some critics spoke out against DeVos on Friday, while approximately 20 protesters from the Detroit Federation of Teachers and a parent advocacy group also reportedly demonstrated outside of the school against DeVos’s positions.

DeVos was a former Republican Party chairwoman in the state and chair of the pro-school choice advocacy group American Federation for Children.

“She’s to blame for the funding crisis in Michigan,” Molly Sweeney, one of the protesters and the director of 482 Forward, an education advocacy group, told the local newspaper.

"We’re here to say that she should fully fund schools on the national level and work in Michigan to fully fund our schools here.”

The visit came a day after DeVos faced some backlash online for visiting Harrisburg Catholic Elementary School in Harrisburg, Pa.

The Catholic school bans transgender students and staff who “chemically and/or surgically alter” their sex assigned at birth because it is considered “self-mutilation” in “Catholic moral terms,” HuffPost reported.

DeVos is currently on a “2019 Back-to-School Tour” to visit schools across the country, according to the Education Department.