Betsy DeVos was confirmed as the next Secretary of Education for the United States on Feb. 7.
This confirmation has been historical, as the Senate vote was deadlocked at 50 votes for and 50 against, including two Republicans who voted against her.
Democrats held a 24-hour filibuster in an attempt to delay the vote and give time for constituents to pressure their Republican representatives in the Senate against voting for DeVos.
Additionally, Vice President Mike Pence had to cast the tie-breaking vote, which has never happened for a Cabinet secretary position before.
What does this controversial appointment mean for the future of public education?
DeVos has expressed that her political efforts “are focused on advancing educational choices,” as her website states. Choices in schooling are beneficial since both teaching and learning techniques vary widely.
Where Democrats say they want to expand public schooling and increase the quality of education, DeVos’ career has consisted of defunding public schools and advocating for charter schools.
DeVos’s stances on other issues are not clear. She has historically been pro-Common Core in K-12 schooling, but has recently said she opposes it.
Primary education is meant to enlighten the children that will lead the future of this country, and provide everyone with an equal chance to advance themselves and contribute to society.
Throughout history, the U.S. has struggled with providing equal opportunity to all children.
In 1851, it became a requirement for all children to attend school, but it was not until 1905, 55 years later, that children of Chinese immigrants were allowed to attend school.
It was not until 1954 with the Brown v. Board of Education ruling that segregated schools were deemed illegal and must be abolished.
DeVos’ stance of privatizing education through the defunding of public schools, including universities, will potentially recultivate a segregation that the U.S. only eliminated roughly 60 years ago.
The segregation will be between social classes if the wealthy will be able to send their children to whichever private school they wish, while the lower and middle class families will not have those same choices.
Left with either public schooling that will become far sub-par with no federal funding, or private school that will drive families into debt, the consistency of education quality may suffer.