Betsy DeVos spoke over the weekend at the “Moms for Liberty” summit in Tampa, Florida, where she called for the end of the Department of Education, which was formerly her jurisdiction when she worked for Donald Trump.
The three-day event, according to The Hill, featured numerous prominent right-wing figures and claimed to instruct attendees from 30 states on how to lead a so-called “parental rights movement.” The goal behind this alleged movement would be to form conservative majorities on local school boards.
“I personally think the Department of Education should not exist,” DeVos said during her keynote, prompting attendees to applaud her comments.
In place of the federal Department of Education, DeVos argued that state governments and local school boards should be given full control over schools.
DeVos, who has been a longtime advocate of charter schools and school voucher programs, was a controversial cabinet appointee made during Donald Trump’s presidency. She was criticized as a force against education and many felt she worked to undermine the academic progress that previous administrations had made.
Ultimately, calls for her resignation led to DeVos departing the position before the end of Trump’s presidential term.
Moms for Liberty, a group that came into formation during the COVID-19 pandemic, opposes things such as mask and vaccine mandates for students, and opened the door to people like GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis. The Florida-based politician — and possible 2024 Presidential candidate — has introduced numerous measures to curb the authority of public schools under the guise of parental rights.
This has included banning the teaching of critical race theory, wearing masks in school, vaccination age requirements for young children, and most infamously, the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which limits the ability of faculty to acknowledge gender identity and sexuality topics.