Education

US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to visit Fort Bragg school

Posted March 31

— U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will visit Kimberly Hampton Primary School on Fort Bragg on Monday, the Department of Education announced.

It will mark her first visit to a Department of Defense Education Activity school and was chosen to recognize April as the Month of the Military Child.

DeVos is scheduled to visit the school at 10 a.m. and see several classrooms, read to students, meet with school officials and talk with parents.

She is not expected to meet with North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson. He will be in Greensboro on Monday morning, according to the state education department.

Johnson has expressed his support of DeVos in the past and told reporters at an event in Winston-Salem in February that "she puts students over a system that has been doing the same thing for 100 years."

DeVos, President Donald Trump's pick for U.S. education secretary, is known as a proponent of school choice. Democrats and teacher organizations have accused her of seeking to dismantle public education and divert funds to charter schools and taxpayer-funded private school vouchers.

Earlier this week, she accused her predecessor of wasting billions of dollars trying to fix traditional public schools and said that school choice was the way to reform the system. She compared school choice to ride-sharing companies such as Uber or Lyft that provide consumers with alternatives to traditional transportation such as taxis and are often faster and cheaper.

"We celebrate the benefits of choices in transportation and in lodging, but doesn't that pale in comparison to the importance of educating the future of our country?" DeVos said. "Why do we not allow parents to exercise that same right to choice in the education of their child?"

Asked whether school choice options can also fail, DeVos said, "I am not sure that we can deteriorate a whole lot."

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