Education Secretary Betsy DeVos continues education tour in Michigan
HOLLAND, Mich. (SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP) --- U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos continues her education tour in her home state.
As the leader of 4,000 employees in the U.S. Department of Education, DeVos is enforcing a hiring freeze and is now tasked with overseeing the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act.
Our Political Reporter Nick Minock spoke one on one with the Secretary in Holland Tuesday afternoon.
Before the interview, DeVos read to kids in to encourage them to read during the summer time.
"It's great to back here in West Michigan," said DeVos."
Her husband, Dick DeVos, made a special visit, too.
After visiting with students and parents at the Degraaf Nature Center, the Secretary and Minock spoke about the changes at the Department of Education since they last spoke at the White House in May.
"While we last saw one another at the White House, here we are in a backdrop that was literally pretty much my backyard growing up," said DeVos. "I had lots of fun playing in woods like this behind my house."
"I read reports this week that you dropped your plans to reform the student loan service program. Why is that?" asked Minock.
"Well, actually, it's part of a process that is continuing to move toward better servicing for students and better responsiveness to taxpayer needs as well," answered DeVos. "It's only a step in the process, but because of the federal procurement rules, it has to be part of that process."
"Is it because you had backlash from Capitol Hill? Some Congressional leaders there came out against it," said Minock.
"Actually it's a result of bringing on a really talented new individual to run FSA and he's bringing some new methodologies and new approaches," said DeVos. "He's been very successful in the private sector in a broad range of financial service activities."
The day before DeVos's visit to Holland, she encountered protests in Grand Rapids by teachers who don't like her support for school choice policies.
But DeVos says her department and the White House are on the right path.
"John Kelly. You served with him in the President's cabinet. He is now White House Chief of Staff. I was at the White House on Monday. It seems like he's made some significant changes so far. Do you think Mr. Kelly is a good fit for this White House, a good - perhaps - change in course?"asked Minock.
"I think very highly of General Kelly and I think he's going to do a great job on the behalf of the President and the Administration," said DeVos.