With Betsy DeVos as the new 11th US Education Secretary, students and parents have been relieved. They are now able to get educational choice options, which include magnet programs, virtual courses, homeschooling, and private school options. Of course, students have to be accepted into these programs for it to work. Still, she has received backlash for wanting educational choice in all states. It’s a program that can do a lot of good, according to the new Secretary of Education, but there are doubts within the educator community.
It’s been difficult for Betsy DeVos who wants to help students first. Most parents and students are relieved that they have more choices for schooling now, but it’s still a matter of where will funding go. DeVos says that educators shouldn’t worry about public funding being used for private education. That isn’t how it works, she said in an interview with “60 Minutes.” Lesley Stahl talked about it with her, wanting to find out more information on the success of the current educational choice programs.
In terms of success, DeVos says that Florida has been the most successful when it comes to implementing educational choice programs. Louisiana also has a number of educational choice options. Still, Devos believes that Florida is the program that helps students the most. In the Sunshine State, a student can attend a magnet program if they don’t like their current school choice where they live. Magnet programs offer students the ability to transfer to another school if the program accepts them. These programs are typically specialized and include different courses of study than the main curriculum. For instance, there are magnet programs for performing arts, business, law, agriculture, and so forth.
Students can also choose to go into a private school or charter school. While there has been debate on how that’s possible, there are ways to get around the tuition problem without using public funding, according to DeVos. In fact, philanthropy has been a big supporter of these programs. The tuition-based scholarship program in Florida is a testament to how it works. Students must still apply for the vouchers and scholarships in order to get into the school.
In addition, there are options for virtual school courses and private homeschooling. These are available to students who want to replace certain courses or stay at home to and go to school completely. It’s been difficult for students in the past to have these options, especially if states don’t approve alternative schooling.
Betsy DeVos also continues to champion school safety. She believes that schools need more protections against guns, and is weary about any policies that would bring more guns on campus, such as teachers having guns. New policies went into effect in the summer of 2018 after a string of school shootings in early 2018.
To learn more, visit www.betsydevos.com.