LANSING, Mich. — Millions of American children are starting the school year online because of the pandemic. The Trump administration is hoping to convert their parents’ frustration and anger into newfound support for school choice policies that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has long championed but struggled to advance nationally. DeVos and President Donald Trump say that if public schools fail to open, then parents should get a cut of the district’s federal funding to send their children to private schools or other options that have arisen during the pandemic. But critics accuse them of exploiting a public health crisis to pursue a political agenda.
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