OK, Betsy DeVos is now education secretary, but the fight over her agenda has just begun
Still, there are tangible ways in which DeVos could have a major impact on K-12 education, even without Congress. She will have considerable influence over the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, which works to ensure that children have equal access to education. This means she can affect the way the most vulnerable children are treated in school.
But on a macro level, students will likely notice little change under DeVos, said Kevin Kosar, a senior fellow at the right-leaning R Street Institute.
“If anything, the K-12 system has shown a remarkable resistance to change. We’ve seen wave after wave of education reform … but not a night-and-day transformation,” he said.
Kosar suspects that under DeVos, the federal government will choose to exercise less influence over local and state education decisions.
But as for voucher programs, he said, “How much she’s going to be able to foster the school choice movement is not at all clear to me. No doubt she’ll try to do something on that count, but there’s a limited number of levers for sure.”