"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"...no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish enlarge, or affect their civil capacities." – Thomas Jefferson

US Secretaries of Education

1. Shirley Hufstedler (Carter), 1979-1981: Lawyer

2. Terrel Bell* (Reagan), 1981-1985: B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in education. Was a High School Teacher, bus driver, local and state superintendent

3. William J Bennett (Reagan), 1985-1988: Majored in Political Philosophy, earned a Law degree. Lawyer, political appointee

4. Lauro Cavasos (Reagan/Bush I), 1988-1990: Zoology Major, earned a Ph.D. in physiology. College/University Educator

5. Lamar Alexandar (Bush I), 1991-1993: Latin American History Major, followed by a Law degree. Lawyer, Politician, College/University Educator. Currently a U.S. Senator from Tennessee

6. Richard Riley (Clinton), 1993-2001: Lawyer, Politician

7. Roderick Page* (Bush II), 2001-2005: Three degrees in education. College Coach, Dean, local Superintendent

8. Margaret Spellings (Bush II), 2005-2009: Poli Sci Major, Political Appointee

9. Arne Duncan (Obama), 2009-2016: Sociology Major, Professional Athelete, Chicago Public Schools CEO

10. John King Jr.* (Obama), 2016-2017: Government Major, Masters degree in Education. Taught high school for 3 years (2 in a charter). Charter School entrepreneur.

11. Betsy DeVos (Trump), 2017- Present: Bachelors degree in business administration and political science. Philanthropist for right wing causes including school privatization.

*has experience as an educator in K-12 public schools


From Education Week
DeVos Would Be First Ed. Sec. Who Hasn't Been a Public School Parent or Student
President-elect Donald Trump's pick for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, would be the first person to head the department in its more than 35-year history who hasn't either attended public schools or sent her own children to them...

John B. King Jr. - Serving under Obama. Attended P.S. 276 and Mark Twain Junior High in Brooklyn, N.Y. Attended Phillips Andover Academy but was expelled. Sends his daughters to public school in Montgomery County, Md. Was a high school social studies teacher and state chief in New York.

Arne Duncan - Served under Obama. Attended University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. Children attended public schools in northern Virginia. Was superintendent of Chicago public schools.

Margaret Spellings - Served under George H.W. Bush. Attended public schools in Houston, graduating from Sharpstown High School. Sent her daughters to public schools in Virginia as well as private Catholic schools.

Roderick Paige - Served under Bush. Attended Lawrence County Training High School, Monticello, Miss. Unclear if his own children attended public school. Was superintendent of Houston public schools, and taught health and physical education.

Richard Riley - Served under President Bill Clinton. Attended Greenville Senior High School in South Carolina. Sent his kids to public schools. Former governor of South Carolina.

Lamar Alexander - Served under President George H.W. Bush. Attended Marysville High School in Marysville, Tenn. Sent his own kids to private school. Served as governor of Tennessee, and as president of the University of Tennessee before becoming secretary. Now Senate education committee chairman.

Lauro F. Cavazos - Served under George H.W. Bush under President Ronald Reagan. Attended the Flato School, a public school in Kingsville, Texas. Was the president of Texas Tech University, and taught at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston before becoming secretary.

William J. Bennett - Served under Reagan. Briefly attended P.S. 92 in New York City before switching to parochial school. Sent his own kids to Georgetown Preparatory School, a private school.

Terrel H. Bell - Served under Reagan. Attended a one-room public school in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho. Served as a chemistry teacher, district superintendent and state chief. Unclear if his own children attended public school.

Shirley Hufstedler - Served under President Jimmy Carter. Attended 12 different schools, graduating from Albuquerque High School in New Mexico. Unclear if her son attended public school.

From the Educator's Room, by Jake Miller

The U.S. Secretaries of Education, A History: Part I

The U.S. Secretaries of Education, A History: Part 2


From Nancy Bailey's Education Website

Put Out to Pasture: Past Education Secretaries and Their Anti-Public School Connections Today