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Revisiting Some of the Trump Cabinet Complaints

By Linda Irvin-Craig I must 'DeDuce' from recent reports about two Trump appointees whom I found wanting that I need to revisit earlier assessments. These individuals answer to the names of Betsy DeVos and Louis DeJoy.

In the case of DeVos, her recent activities make her inability to comprehend the value and necessity of “public education” as Secretary of Education worse than we knew. Her current efforts leading her American Federation for Children to disrupt funding for public education threatens the heart beat of our schools. This is something that should be on radar-watch by every school board in America, in addition to the so-called Patriot Parents at work in many jurisdictions.

It has been clear that the far right has been hard at work to ban books and cause the focus of education to be torn by claims of all sorts of historical fiction, or efforts to rewrite history. The other challenge in all of this reduces the ability for schools to offer an accurate curriculum concerning the world as it is in literature, art, law and everyday life. However, the current effort plans to interrupt funding by funneling it to private schools through the use of vouchers.

So far six state legislatures have done just that…Nevada, Florida, Utah, Arizona, Iowa and Arkansas…all in the red category, with Texas planning to follow suit soon. Perhaps, we should be asking how to stop this tactic. Federal funds for education have never been what was promised, but they might be missed if not there. Could we ask the President to remove all federal funds from states, which are undermining their own schools funding? Just a thought.

One personal situation I can share is the competition in Maryland about comprehension of the US Constitution. I used to take part in the local judging of high school teams. Our local public high schools, who chose to participate, have always done well. Yet, when students from a local parochial school were asked if they could evaluate assumptions that might differ from the usual interpretation, they could not. It seemed there had been no discussion in their classroom about the actual words or context in which they were written.

Now, for Mr. DeJoy, our current Postmaster General, a recent evaluation of his overall performance in saving the Postal Service surprised me. It seems he has divested himself of the obvious conflicts of interest and admitted his early mistakes. The story claims the “He is fighting for redemption.”

There was an assumption at the beginning of the Biden Administration that DeJoy would face replacement, but he proved of value when it became necessary to deliver election ballots on time in spite of the suspicion that he intended to do otherwise. Then there came the need to deliver COVID tests to 500,000 Americans within 48 hours…accomplished.

With the repeal of the onerous requirement of the postal service to prefund retirement funds for all retirees, which no other department had to do, the postal service received a reprieve from financial ruin. Other innovations, helped by the Inflation Reduction Act, made it possible for DeJoy to work with the union and both Democrats and Republicans in Congress to modernize the department and protect its future. A future to include new regional sort centers and electrified delivery vehicles.

Only time will tell, but the current assessment is that he is determined not to live under the threat of having his mistakes included in his obituary, but the success of a functioning and self-supporting Post Office Department.

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