First Betsy DeVos Came for Transgender Students, Then for the Disabled, Now She’s Targeting Minority Children

 
 
 

'It Seems Betsy DeVos Is on a Mission to Decimate Basic Protections for Students at All Levels'

Just weeks into her tenure as Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos infamously rescinded guidance from the Obama administration detailing how schools could and should protect the civil rights of transgender students. At a far right wing conference one day later, the charter schools advocate who had never stepped into s public school until this year told supporters the guidance was an example of "huge overreach" by the Obama administration. 

DeVos then targeted children with disabilities, rescinding 72 documents designed to help explain to administrators how to protect the civil rights of those students. They also served to help parents and other laypeople understand what their children's rights actually are. That move was made in early October, but not announced until last Friday.

Of course, DeVos attacking the civil rights of transgender students and students with disabilities should surprise no one. During her confirmation hearing DeVos refused to say children with disabilities deserve equal protection in schools, and in fact admitted she was "confused" by the federal laws.

In June she told the Senate she would not work to prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ students.

And now, DeVos has a new target: Black and Native American students.

The Education Secretary has been mulling over an Obama-era rule that is scheduled to go into effect next year, designed to ensure minority students are not place in special education classes at a disproportional rate to other students. Historically, Black and Native American students have been put into special education classes at much higher rates, and the Obama administration rule is designed to address that.

The rule is also designed to ensure that schools are funding special education classes appropriately.

The Obama Dept. of Education in 2016, as Politico reports Thursday, "noted that minority students — 'particularly African-American and American Indian youth — are identified as students with disabilities at substantially higher rates than their peers.' Minority students with disabilities are more likely than white students to be disciplined and pushed out of regular classrooms, the agency stressed. The rule sought to ensure that states are using a uniform approach to ensure minority students aren't overrepresented in special education. It was supposed to take effect in July 2018."

DeVos, according to Politico, is debating whether to delay the rule, change it, or scrap it, as Politico's Caitlin Emma first reported Wednesday afternoon:

Some responses by Democrats to the news:

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