In The Politics of Autism, I write about special education and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been weighing whether to delay and possibly scrap an Obama-era rule aimed at ensuring minority students aren’t placed in special education classes more often than necessary, Caitlin Emma reports. An unpublished draft of a Federal Register notice obtained by POLITICO shows that the Education Department has considered seeking input on whether that rule should be delayed by two years — and whether it should eventually be modified, replaced, removed or left unchanged. An Education Department official said the draft is an early version of the notice and has been significantly revised, but did not challenge its veracity. Caitlin has the story.
Democrats on Wednesday night pounced on the news that DeVos has considered delaying the rule. “Why is it that key civil rights protections for students always seem to be on the chopping block for @BetsyDeVosED?,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) asked on Twitter. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) said in a tweet that it “seems Betsy DeVos is on a mission to decimate basic protections for students at all levels.”House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said: “Instead of continuing this Admin’s civil rights attacks, @BetsyDeVosED *should* be expanding opportunities for all. Clearly, she is failing.”
A HuffPost/YouGov poll conducted Oct. 9-10 found that, indeed, DeVos is Trump’s most unpopular Cabinet official, alongside Jeff Sessions, the much more visible attorney general. DeVos and Sessions both have a 42 percent unfavorability rating in that poll. When asked which Cabinet members are doing a “bad job,” 32 percent of respondents picked Sessions and 32 percent picked DeVos. Thirty-seven percent of respondents said DeVos is doing a worse job than her predecessors, with just 20 percent saying she’s doing better and 12 percent saying she’s doing about the same.
A recent Morning Consult/Politico poll had similar results: DeVos was Trump’s most unpopular Cabinet secretary, with a net favorability rating of -12 percent, followed by Sessions, who was at -4 percent.
And in June, New York Times columnist Gail Collins conducted a reader poll for worst Trump Cabinet member. DeVos won.
DeVos is now a household name for many Democrats ― so much so that she has essentially become a new boogeyman for 2018. Democratic candidates nationwide are mentioning her in their fundraising emails.