Jeb Bush went down to bitter defeat in his attempt to win the Republican presidential nomination. But one of his political allies appears to have gained a foothold in the Donald Trump administration, Politico reports.
Betsy DeVos, a longtime friend of Bush's, has been nominated for education secretary and is expected to be confirmed by the Senate. Ironically, Bush's views on education were ridiculed during the campaign by Trump.
But Politico reports Bush's beliefs could inch closer to national policy with DeVos leading the education department.
Bush, while Florida governor, worked closely with DeVos on "school-choice" policies that steered taxpayer money to charter and private schools, according to Politico. And the website notes they rely on the same network of policy staffers and experts – some of whom are likely to get key posts in the Education Department.
DeVos had served on Bush's Foundation for Excellence in Education. Further, she and her husband contributed to Bush's presidential campaign, the website noted.
Trump has promised a $20 billion block grant to promote charter and private schools. The proposed program by the president-elect was developed with the help of DeVos' advocacy group, the American Federation for Children, and closely mirrors Bush's beliefs in educational reform, Politico reports.
"I cannot think of a more effective and passionate change agent to press for a new education vision, one in which students, rather than adults and bureaucracies, become the priority in our nation's classrooms," the website quotes Bush.
And Bush critic Joanne McCall, president of the Florida Education Association, the statewide teachers' union, adds. "I'm sure he's gushing over Betsy because, if she's confirmed, it would give these policies a national stage."
Meanwhile, ABC News reports DeVos is one of the Republican Party's "most prolific mega-donors."
In 2016, she and her husband contributed more than $2.75 million to federal candidate, state parties and political action committees.
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