As most presidents in the past, new President Donald Trump is having his own way in appointing and getting confirmed his cabinet nominees.
• The most controversial one, Ms. Betsy DeVos for U.S. Dept. of Education Secretary, was confirmed by one vote, the tie-breaker given by Vice-President Mike Pence. The Senate vote on confirmation was deadlocked at 50 for, 50 against, including two Republican Senators crossing the aisle to vote with the 48 Democratic minority. The DeVos appointment would be one of the few presidential cabinet members in history who knows very little about public education. The millionaire attended private schools in her formative years and favors Charter Schools and a tax voucher system for parents who want their children to go to non-public schools. These latter two initiatives, which have been adopted in a few other states, mainly benefit the wealthy who can send their children to private schools and get tax deductions for doing so. Moreover, the siphoning off of students from public to private schools decreases the enrollments and concomitant governmental revenues that public schools depend upon for their existence and academic quality.
U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R) wrote to us that her vote for Ms. DeVos, she felt, would be good for education in this state. How, we wonder? She her letter to the left. Senator Joe Manchin (D) voted against Ms. DeVos for top educator, fearing its harm to our public and rural school system.
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Congratulations to college President Dr. Peter Barr and the Hidden Promise Scholars program for Glenville State College’s commendation by the state’s Association of Regional Colleges & Universities! Happily, Glenville State was singled out as the only college in West Virginia to allow qualified students access to federal financial aid when taking college credit classes before high school graduation. This valuable program allows financially strapped students not only an early start to a college diploma, but also encourages them to pursue their college educations here and their dreams of future success.
Indeed, all of our state’s colleges and universities offer certain strengths in the advancement of higher education. These academic assets are crucial to providing the educated workforce that the state needs to build up future strength in digging us out of the pit’s bottom among other states. Thus, we trust that Governor Jim Justice will not cut college budgets like the previous governor did. Success can only come through education, not stupidity. DHC, Sr.