Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is slated to speak at the historically black institution Bethune-Cookman University in Florida at the school’s 2017 commencement later this month.
DeVos’ address signals further efforts by the Trump administration to reach out to historically black colleges and universities, following a meeting with leaders of various historically black institutions at the White House back in February.
That meeting drew immediate criticism after comments from DeVos shortly thereafter where she called historically black colleges (HBCUs) “real pioneers when it comes to school choice.”
“They are living proof that when more options are provided to students, they are afforded greater access and greater quality,” DeVos continued.
Critics were quick to point out that HBCU’s were created because African American students were denied access to higher education.
DeVos later amended her comments in a series of tweets the next day, reflecting the importance of the institutions.
Now, Mr. Trump’s Education Secretary is back in the spotlight after a statement released by the Daytona Beach university drew backlash for comparing DeVos to the school’s founder and civil rights activist Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune.
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SOURCE: CBS News, Emily Tillett