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November 24, 2016 5:53 pm

Major Jewish Group Says Trump Pick of School-Choice Champion as Education Secretary Good News for Community

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avatar by Ruthie Blum

President-elect Donald Trump with Betsy DeVos, his nominee for education secretary. Photo: Facebook.

President-elect Donald Trump with Betsy DeVos, his nominee for education secretary. Photo: Facebook.

The executive director of the public-policy arm of the largest Orthodox Jewish organization in the United States told The Algemeiner on Thursday why President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of education is such good news for his community.

Nathan Diament, executive director of the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center, said that the nomination of Betsy DeVos for the role “is a clear signal” that Trump intends to follow through on one of the campaign promises that made him so “attractive” to Orthodox Jews, a majority of whom voted for the Republican candidate.

This promise was to push for “school choice” – and tax-break vouchers for parents wanting to send their kids to private institutions of learning – something that Diament called the “number one kitchen-table domestic policy issue for the Orthodox community.” Its significance lies, he explained, in the often prohibitive cost of a Jewish education. Trump, he said, “spoke of reallocating $20 billion in federal-education spending to school-choice programs. That has the potential to greatly assist the Jewish community with its affordability challenge.”

According to Diament, DeVos – a billionaire businesswoman, philanthropist and education activist — “has a track record” of championing charter schools.

On Wednesday, Trump made the announcement that he was nominating DeVos, chair of the Michigan Republican Party, as education secretary, pending confirmation by the Senate.

The appointment of DeVos has aroused the ire of Trump’s political enemies on the Left. An analysis in The New Yorker ridiculed the nomination, on the grounds that it “flies in the face of [Trump’s] fiery anti-establishment campaign rhetoric” against the “donor class.” But, the piece argued, “it would be hard to find a better representative of the ‘donor class’ than DeVos.”

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