Susan Collins dropped a bombshell yesterday in announcing that she would not vote for Betsy DeVos to be Secretary of Education. Her reasons center more or less around the idea that charter schools and vouchers would hurt rural schools, which Maine has in abundance.
As Jay Caruso pointed out last night, Collins is also one of the few Republicans teachers unions like, much less give money to. However, that’s not the only personal gain Collins gets with this move.
It’s been rumored for a while now that Collins is eyeing the Maine governor’s mansion when it goes up for grabs in 2018.
Despite saying a year ago that she was “baffled” at the rumors, they have only continued to grow stronger. Her opposition to Donald Trump has been seen as a means of keeping the more liberal elements of Maine happy. The current governor, Paul LaPage, is term-limited, and has been very vocal about Collins and her lack of support for Trump.
In this war between the two, Collins may in fact be worried about her Republican turnout. The anti-Democrat sentiment is at an all-time high among Republicans, and anything remotely close to capitulation to the Democrats is going to hurt her right now.
But, having a list of “I Stood Against Trump” moments and support from liberal groups (like teachers unions) helps you win votes in more liberal parts of the state, and win over some Democrats.
However, in looking to continue her political legacy, Collins has betrayed American children trapped in failing schools.
Her arguments against DeVos are practically cut and pasted from Democrat talking points, and have little basis in reality.
The fact of the matter is that no one going into serious education reform wants to shut down public education. They don’t want to divert money from public schools. However, these are options that are on the table because public schools have largely refused to change.
Children who otherwise locked into a school they didn’t choose and can’t learn from get opportunities to go somewhere they can get an education that benefits them. But, Collins has now confirmed to children and their families that she is not interested in them.
She is interested in her political longevity, and she should be called out publicly on this.