Betsy DeVos: Michigan doesn’t have enough school choice

Michigan is often cited as a case study of broad school choice and its troubles. Betsy DeVos thinks students in her home state don’t have enough options.

“The reality is, Michigan doesn’t have wide open choice,” the U.S. education secretary told journalists on Monday at the annual gathering of the Education Writers Association. “Michigan only has the opportunity to offer charter schools, and in my book, that’s one step towards choice, but that’s not education freedom.”

Full freedom, to DeVos, would include voucher programs that allow families to spend taxpayer dollars on tuition to private schools. DeVos, whose advocacy has long influenced education policy in Michigan, wasn’t able to bring the policy there, despite investing $4.75 million in a failed voter referendum in 2000. She now is pushing for a federal tax credit program, called the Education Freedom Scholarship Program, that has been criticized as a “backdoor voucher.”


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