Skip Navigation

PRESS RELEASE: Heartland Institute Experts React to Trump Picking Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary

November 23, 2016

“This is a promising development as DeVos is an effective and experienced leader in the education choice movement.” - Lennie Jarratt

book bag

The transition team for President-elect Donald Trump announced today he will nominate Betsy DeVos to be his secretary of education. DeVos heads the advocacy group American Federation for Children, which supports charter schools and vouchers.

The following statements from education policy experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 312/731-9364.

“With the selection of Betsy DeVos as the new Secretary of Education, Trump has signaled his continued support for education choice. This is a promising development as DeVos is an effective and experienced leader in the education choice movement. DeVos’ experience working with state legislators gives us hope she will push the power of education back to the states where it belongs instead of maintaining power in Washington, DC, as her long-time support of Common Core suggests.”

Lennie Jarratt
Project Manager, Education
The Heartland Institute

“I’ve met Betsy DeVos, and worked with her organizations on school choice issues at Heartland. Assuming this is a signal that school choice will be front and center in education policy, this is great news. It is decades past the time when teachers’ unions are put in the back of the bus, and children get to ride in front.”

Bruno Behrend
Senior Fellow, Education Policy
The Heartland Institute

“Betsy DeVos of the American Federation for Children has a lengthy history of advocating for children and school choice – something President-elect Trump states is very important to him. Odds are people on both sides of the aisle will criticize her – the left for trying to ‘defund’ public education, even by using legal means such as funding public charter schools; and the right for not denouncing Common Core.

“Both Democrats and Republicans may also criticize her for lacking the policy experience of others Trump floated for the post, but Trump did say he wants to drain the swamp.”

Heather Kays
Policy Advisor, Education
The Heartland Institute

“Betsy DeVos fails big on two key promises Trump has repeatedly made voters: to get rid of Common Core and keep education local. DeVos has adamantly supported Common Core, and is even a board member of Jeb Bush’s Common Core-supporting education foundation (and one of its biggest donors), not to mention closely aligned to Republican education officials like Sen. Lamar Alexander -- which should give convulsions to any lover of education freedom.

“DeVos is not the kind of person to whom Trump promised Americans he’d delegate our power.”

Joy Pullmann
Research Fellow, Education
The Heartland Institute

The Heartland Institute is a 32-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.

Article Tags
Lennie Jarratt is the former director of the Center for Education Opportunities at The Heartland Institute @LennieJarratt
Bruno Behrend, J.D., is a senior fellow for education policy at The Heartland Institute. @BrunoBehrend ‏
Heather Kays is a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute and former managing editor of School Reform News, a national monthly publication. @SchoolReform
Joy Pullmann is a research fellow on education policy for The Heartland Institute and managing editor of The Federalist, a web magazine on politics, policy, and culture. @JoyPullmann

Related News & Opinion View All News