Devos’s Voucher Program Can Likely Discriminate

By Free Radical

Betsy Devos

Betsy Devos

Earlier this month Betsy Devos gave noncommittal answers to handling discrimination in voucher school programs at a Senate hearing. Vouchers are one cornerstone of Devo’s emphasis on school choice policy which also includes private education and charter schools.

A problem will arise if private schools are given federal monies but still allowed to discriminate based on sexuality, which is a violation of federal law. While she affirmed that “Discrimination in any form is wrong. I don’t support discrimination in any form”, she was less forthcoming in showing how she would handle a situation such as a current conflict in an Indiana school which receives federal funds but has denied admission to students who have LGBT parents.

Her conservative base supports school choice and often looks down on LGBT families and relationships. It would be difficult for her to publicly say that she would fight this form of discrimination. However, allowing discrimination could put her voucher program in peril as it would be subject to countless lawsuits.

This isn’t only a problem on the federal level. A recent study by edweek.org showed that no states that have voucher programs include provisions restricting discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Thus, the fight for equality spearheaded by her opponents will likely occur on both federal and state fronts.

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