DeVos Focuses on Special Ed Teachers in Voucher Push

DeVos Focuses on Special Ed Teachers in Voucher Push

April 29, 2020

After years of frustration in her attempts to expand education choice, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is picking up steam,” writes Andrew Ujifusa for Education Week. “Fresh evidence that DeVos is continuing her push to prioritize choice with federal funds can be found in the April 24 edition of the Federal Register” which included a U.S. Department of Education announcement of a new proposal to grant priority for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. “The priority would affect State Personnel Development Grants that help train those working in special education.” This announcement “lines up with at least two other recent moves by the Education Department to embed at least the concept of money in different parts of the federal education budget,” including an early March DeVos proposal to develop “vouchers for teachers to use for professional development using Education Innovation and Research grant money in the Every Student Succeeds Act.” Also, recently “DeVos announced $180 million in federal coronavirus grants that in part would provide money to families to spend on a variety of public and private education services—a concept that resembles a voucher program.” Ujifusa also reports that “Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., wrote to DeVos last month saying that her teacher PD plan that relied on Every Student Succeeds Act money violated both the ‘spirit and intent’ of the law.”