In this week's edition of our education news roundup, we take you from school vouchers to AP exams to community college.
Betsy DeVos speaks to American Legislative Exchange Council
Protests greeted the education secretary in Denver this week at her speech to the American Legislative Exchange Council. Her family has close ties to the organization, which brings together state legislators, free-market conservatives and corporate sponsors to write model bills that get adopted all over the country.
ALEC and Betsy DeVos both back vouchers, tax credit scholarships, education savings accounts and expansions of charter, home-schooling, virtual and for-profit providers. Her rhetoric, here, was more fiery than in previous appearances, as she faced off against critics —"defenders of the status quo" — and praised ALEC for "the fight" to expand school choice. She also hit familiar notes:
"Choice in education is good politics because it's good policy. It's good policy because it comes from good parents who want better for their children."
As we reported, the timing of her speech was a bit awkward:
House Republicans have just rejected the school choice expansions in Trump's initial budget request. Recent studies have shown mixed-to-negative results for voucher programs, and there have been successful fights against voucher expansion even in staunchly red states like Texas.
House budget resolution has cuts to education
The Republican-controlled House has been working on its spending plan, including for education.
This week, the budget committee adopted a plan to cut $20 billion from education over 10 years. The resolution, which is only one step toward becoming a law, makes reference to streamlining the federal college loan program, a likely source of some of the cuts.