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Donald Trump’s Education Secretary Pick Wants To Make Christianity A Bigger Part Of Schooling

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Donald Trump’s Education Secretary Pick Wants To Make Christianity A Bigger Part Of Schooling

Post  Admin on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 9:03 pm

Donald Trump’s Education Secretary Pick Wants To Make Christianity A Bigger Part Of Schooling
Religion plays a major role in the way Betsy DeVos thinks about education.
12/03/2016 01:09 pm ET | Updated 3 days ago
Rebecca Klein
Education Editor, The Huffington Post

President-elect Donald Trump stands with Betsy DeVos after a meeting in Bedminster Township, New Jersey, on Nov. 19.
Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, spoke at a 2001 conference with her husband, Dick, about using educational philanthropy to promote their conservative Christian worldview to children.

The conference was hosted by The Gathering, a group of elite Christian philanthropists. Researcher Bruce Wilson, co-founder of the website Talk To Action, unearthed the audio after going through archives on The Gathering’s website. The recordings have since become unavailable, but a cached version of the website lists the DeVoses as “general session speakers” at the conference, which carried a $1,200 per person registration fee.

This week, The Huffington Post had contacted spokespeople for DeVos, the Trump transition team and The Gathering to confirm that it was the president-elect’s education secretary pick speaking on the audio. No one responded. However, a summer 2001 newsletter that The Gathering published, and which Wilson obtained, also confirms that they were set to speak at the group’s upcoming conference.

During the question-and-answer portion of the recording, Dick DeVos can be heard lamenting that the “church, which ought to be, in our view, far more central to the life of the community, has been displaced by the public school as the center for activity,” Politico also reported on Friday.

He goes on to say that he hopes churches get more involved in education, whether through school voucher programs or other mechanisms. Churches, schools and families should become more tightly built around a “consistent worldview,” he adds.

During the panel, Betsy DeVos insists she and Dick aren’t enemies of traditional public schools, but are rather “for good education and for every child having an opportunity for a good education.” Yet the comments she and her husband appear to have made at the event suggest this could come at the price of blurring the separation of church and state.

Hear comments from the full panel here.

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