PRIOR to the confirmation of billionaire philanthropist, Betsy DeVos, as the Secretary of Education, President Donald Trump asked famed religious leader, Jerry Falwell Jr, to lead a task force on higher education in America.
Falwell Jr. has gained notoriety for being a member of one of the most prominent evangelical families within the country and his role as president of Liberty University in Virginia. The institution has been recognised as Christian-based.
He was contacted originally in November by then President-elect Trump, asking if he would be interested in filling the cabinet position of Secretary of Education. Though he declined the offer, he has remained connected to the new administration’s mission to promote school choice and vouchers.
Both of these goals are proven to be to the betterment of Christian schools while simultaneously working to the detriment of public schools.
The new task force in question will attempt to deregulate and allow state discretion when it comes to higher education institutions. Falwell Jr. has consistently opposed the federal regulations on funding and accreditation for higher education institutions in America.
In the recruitment of Falwell Jr., a clearer image of the American education system for the next four years has begun to develop. Right-wing Christian values will likely be more tied to schools across the USA.
Following suit in Trump’s recent attacks on the media, Falwell Jr. allegedly halted Liberty University’s newspaper from publishing a critical article of the now President’s admittance to sexually assaulting women. The university has an established rule that “everything controversial” pieces written by the school newspaper must go through Falwell Jr.’s office first. He used this rule as the grounds for pulling the editorial, despite student backlash. Falwell Jr. justified the dismissal of the article on the grounds of “we are all sinners.”