When Betsy DeVos was interviewed by the Senate Committee that was about to confirm her as Secretary of Education, she seemed never to have heard of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or anything connected to special education. Now that she has been Secretary for several months, Nancy Bailey is worried that she thinks IDEA is a burden and must be cut.

Watch her like a hawk watches his or her prey, she advises, because DeVos seems to want to deregulate special education and defund it.

Her conversation centers around “piled on regulations” in special education. Instead of paying for services, she wants to deregulate, thereby allowing for funding cuts.

This would also destroy IDEA and leave children with disabilities to fend for themselves. It’s stepping backwards to the time when children with disabilities had no rights.

What DeVos Deregulations Mean to Special Education

Policymakers should look at regulations, especially having to do with the enormous amount of paperwork and high-stakes test administration facing general and special education teachers.

But this is not what Betsy is talking about.

Her deregulations will open the door to privatization.

Currently, parents lose their child’s protections under IDEA if they accept voucher money. This makes parents pause when considering a voucher. Betsy DeVos wants to lessen requirements of those protections to push her loosey goosey choice plan.

By killing regulations, Nancy fears, DeVos is setting up special education to be killed.

Be alert. Compassion and responsibility for others are not her strong suits.