Evangelicals played a large role in getting President Donald Trump to the White House, and now they will shape Trump’s education agenda.
Betsy DeVos, Trump’s beleaguered pick for education secretary, supports taxpayer funding for religious schools and once called education reform a way to “advance God’s kingdom.”
Mike Pence, a leader in the evangelical community, will likely break a tie in the Senate to ensure DeVos’ nomination.
And Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of one the largest evangelical colleges in the nation, Liberty University, will lead an education reform task force focusing on higher education.
“They weren’t even at the table under President (Barack) Obama,” said North Carolina Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger, who is connected to the evangelical community. “I think it’s prudent … that those who have a world view of the Bible be able to have a conversation.”
In education circles, a major part of that conversation is an ongoing policy debate on the role of vouchers and taxpayer funding for religious schools. Liberal Democrats have vocally opposed DeVos’ nomination and turned it into a referendum on allowing tax dollars to be spent on scholarships for students to attend religiously affiliated schools.
“I don’t think that religion defines a person, but what we see is a real clear agenda that Trump began,” said Mary Kusler, who is overseeing the National Education Association’s effort to oppose DeVos’ nomination. “We believe that the public school system has largely been a cornerstone of democracy.”
( Billy’s thoughts – Did the media question when the people who wanted faithless things in education were invited to the table under President Obama. Nope those folks helped put Obama in office. In the same way evangelicals helped get Donald Trump to the White House ,so why should we not be at the table of education. Besides those of us who want choice in education just want to give poor parents the same choice in education that President Obama made. When Obama had a chance to send his daughters to a public school system that is run down, he picked a private school. Clinton did the same thing with his daughter. I do not fault Clinton, or Obama for sending their kids to private schools. All good parents want to do what is best for their child. I just wish those on the left would give the same choice to poor parents. Yes there are good teachers in the public schools, but the department of education job should not be about saving the public schools. Instead they should focus on saving the kids including the poor kids who are stuck in schools which are failing them. Read the rest of the above story. )