Betsy DeVos, President Trump's nominee to lead the Education Department, firmly believes in all types of school choice. She started a successful charter school in Grand Rapids and founded the American Federation for Children, a pro-school choice policy non-profit.
Despite her qualifications, she's faced a fierce backlash against her nomination, especially from the teachers unions.
The National Education Association, the largest union in the country, gave its members, "5 reasons why Trump pick Betsy DeVos is wrong for Secretary of Education."
The first reason complained that DeVos has never worked in a school and doesn't hold an education degree. She and her children also never attended a public school.
However, like DeVos, President Barack Obama's first education secretary, Arne Duncan, attended private school and does not have a degree in education. He also supported some level of school choice. As CEO of Chicago Public Schools, Duncan opened a number of charter schools to improve the education of all children in Chicago.
Duncan's successor, John King, was also partially educated in private schools, including exclusive Phillips Academy Andover, where tuition today is more than $40,000 for one school year.
The second NEA complaint against DeVos is that she supports private school choice, and it claims private school choice doesn't work.
All private school choice does, however, is allow parents with a low income or who have a child with a disability to choose a private school using taxpayer dollars like the middle class and wealthy. Most programs have eligibility requirements, like income limits or attendance at a failing public school. School choice also helps public schools because it gives them an incentive to innovate and improve.
In fact, 12 out of 15 studies using gold-standard random assignment have confirmed that private school choice does improve education. For example, a 2012 study, Brookings Institution study showed that privately-funded school choice in New York City improved African American students' college attendance by 24 percent.
The third NEA complaint was that "DeVos has invested millions lobbying for laws that drain resources from public schools." However, public schools usually receive more money per student after school choice programs are passed. The scholarships in school choice programs are usually not as high as the public school per student spending. The difference usually goes to the public school. Most school choice programs also result in an increase in funding to the public schools.
At DeVos' confirmation hearing, many Democrat members of the committee were hostile and rude. For example, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., asked her, "Do you think if you were not a multibillionaire, if your family, had not made hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions to the republican party, that you would be sitting here today?"
But Democratic senators are just following the labor bosses who fund their campaigns, labor bosses who want to keep the education status quo. The NEA and American Federation of Teachers represent teachers, not children.
As former American Federation of Teachers President Al Shanker once said, "When school children start paying union dues, that's when I'll start representing the interests of school children."
Unlike teachers unions, DeVos has devoted her life to children and their education. She will make a great secretary of education.
Olivia Grady is research fellow at the Center for Worker Freedom, a project of Americans for Tax Reform. If you would like to write an op-ed for the Washington Examiner, please read our guidelines on submissions here.