Tag Archives: Betsy DeVos

Still Sinking: Education Needs Saving

My last article was highlighting areas of our government that may be turning on the citizens. Most of the focus was on the Department of Education and its leader Betsy DeVos. In my opinion, Mrs. DeVos is not helping increase the level of education that is received in public schools. There may be some who disagree with my assessment of her job performance but let me highlight a couple of more things I believe will have a negative impact on the education of our citizens.

The new tax bill which Mrs. DeVos is in support of, will not allow individuals to deduct the interest in student loans, the bill will eliminate the Lifetime Learning Credit, which allows of to a $2000 deduction, and scholarships may be considered income. If your scholarship is considered income you will have to pay taxes on that income. There are many individuals who need scholarships to afford college, and these students have worked hard to obtain these scholarships. Without these scholarships, students would require more loans. How is a student working a part-time job or one who has graduated and is underemployed going to be able to pay taxes on a scholarship? Students are being put in place where no answer is the right answer. You are being told to attend college, you graduate but you can not find a job paying enough for you to live and pay back your student’s loans. They have taxed your scholarship, now you own the IRS and the degree you obtained is not at the standard the industry requires. You do not have the personal connections to get a job in the desired company. Students will start to think is college helping me or hurting me because they are now in a hole that was not there before going to college.

The other thing the tax bill does is to eliminate the deduction teachers use when they spend their own money on school supplies or learning materials for their students. There may be some teachers who will stop spending their money because they will not be reimbursed, and I understand if they do not spend their money because these teachers have bills, families, and student loans they must take care off. We know who this will hit the hardest, private schools and schools in affluent neighborhoods do not have a problem with supplies.

These policies are clearly devised to hinder the education of the low and middle class, people will consider these policies racial and they are because a large percent of the minority community will be adversely affected by them. But the racism is part of the issue the real issue is classism. There are a lot of white people who are in the low and middle class, they support these policies for some reason they believe it will not affect them. It does not matter your racial makeup if you can not afford college you cannot afford it. The question I ask is why, should the government work hard to ensure the citizens are able to compete on a global scale. I am confused, can someone explain it to me?

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Is America A Sinking Ship?

Are we witnessing the destruction of America? Does the phrase “Make America Great Again” mean to start from the beginning? Are we, the people, being distracted by all the other things taking place in America? I ask these questions because Donald Trump has been exhibiting strange behavior and some of his appointments have been strange. Take for example Scott Pruitt the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Scott Pruitt described himself as an advocate against the EPA, and he does not believe in climate change. Dr. Ben Carson is the head of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the man is a brilliant neurosurgeon but has no experience with HUD. Then, there is Betsy DeVos, the head of Education, at least she has a long history dealing with education, but the history is shrouded in the destruction of the educational system of Michigan.

I am going to share my opinion about the appointment of Betsy DeVos. Betsy DeVos believes in charter schools, and allowing children to attend the schools of their choice, which I do not have a problem with but her record in Michigan has shown that the charter schools are worse than the public schools. The charter schools in Michigan are run by private companies, therefore there is a profit incentive associated with schools. Mrs. DeVos wants deregulations, which is one of the reasons she champions charter schools, but with deregulation, the level of education received is decreased. Regulations hold the schools and the teachers to a standard, this forces the teachers and schools to live up to or exceed these standards. Without regulations who is accountable for the failures or miseducation of the children.

It is a well-known fact that companies in the United States need individuals educated in the fields that are useful. Manufacturing jobs are becoming a thing of the past, having a college degree is becoming a necessity, there are many jobs requiring a master’s degree. Companies are hiring people from other countries because the people from these countries are better equipped to perform the duties of the job. Knowing all of this why would Mrs. DeVos take positions that would discourage people from attending college? She is against student loan forgiveness, there was a provision put in place if a student was defrauded by a school or if the school utilized illegal or deceptive tactics to get the student to take a loan the student would be forgiven for the loan. In the new tax bill, students would no longer be able to deduct the interest from their student loan repayments. The cost of education is rising, therefore, most people need a student loan to attend college, but making people fearful of student loans will result in fewer people going to college, more jobs going overseas, and the destruction of the middle class.

I just find it strange that someone would work hard to discourage people from seeking an education and work for people to receive a subpar education. Remember the one percent will not be affected by any of these changes in the department of education, department of housing or the EPA, the other 99% will suffer. The American people are divided by racial lines, political lines, and religious lines but the line that everyone is ignoring is the class line. While the 99% is fighting each other the 1% is “Making American Great Again” for them.