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Betsy DeVos to Visit Private, Charter, and Public Schools in Miami

devos and melania at charter.jpg

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will visit a trio of elementary schools in Miami Thursday and Friday—one private Christian school, one charter school, and one traditional public school.

The private Christian school is CARE, which was founded by the Miami Rescue Mission Board of Directors, a homeless shelter. CARE stands for Christian Academy for Reaching Excellence. All of the school's students qualify for free- and reduced-price lunch. All students have access to iPads and "tools to transform lives through quality education and Christian guidance," according to its website. There are also weekly, nondenominational chapel services.

The Foundation for Excellence in Education, the nonprofit education organization started by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, published a blog post on the school last year, which you can check out here. The post notes that the school "could not exist" without the help of Florida's tax credit scholarship program, which allows individuals and corporations in the Sunshine State to get a tax advantage for donating to a scholarship grant organization. (Step Up for Students runs Florida's program.) DeVos served on the foundation's board before becoming secretary.

DeVos will also be heading to SLAM Charter school in Miami, which stands for Sports Leadership and Management, and is backed by Pitbull. (Yes, that Pitbull. The rapper.) The school has earned a C on Florida's accountability system. More from Evie Blad over at Charters and Choice.

And on Friday, DeVos will visit Royal Palm Elementary School, a traditional public school that earned an A on the state's accountability system. The school boasted the highest writing scores on the state's accountability exam back in 2012. And it offers Spanish speakers instruction in their native language, as well as robust access to technology.

DeVos will also stop by a four-year university for the first time as secretary, Florida International University, the school where Trump's nominee for labor secretary, Alexander Acosta, is a dean. She'll be visiting a nursing program, to underscore efforts to train students for jobs that are currently available.  

DeVos said earlier this year that she sees Florida, a school choice-friendly state, as a model for the nation on K-12. And since taking office, she's been spending a lot of her on-the-road time there. This is DeVos' third trip to the state, by our count. She previously visited Valencia College, a community college, to highlight career readiness and dual enrollment programs. And she went with President Donald Trump to a Catholic school in Orlando that also benefits from the state's tax credit scholarship program.

The stops in Florida cap off a week of secretarial visits aimed at highlighting schools that are doing innovative work in serving students with unique needs, an Education Department official said. On Monday, DeVos went to a public school on a military base that works with children of service members.

And on Wednesday, she stopped off at Excel Academy, the first all-girls charter school in Washington, D.C. She was joined by Queen Rania of Jordan, whose husband, King Abdullah II met with Trump at the White House Wednesday, as well by First Lady Melania Trump. The trio visited arts and science classes. More from the Associated Press here.

Want to keep up with DeVos' school visits? Check out our tracker:

First lady Melania Trump, Queen Rania of Jordan, right, and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, center, arrive for their visit to the Excel Academy Public Charter school in Washington on April 5.

--Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP


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