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Former DeVos aide appointed Virginia’s Deputy Secretary of Education

The Virginia Department of Education’s offices in the James Monroe Building in Richmond. The...
The Virginia Department of Education’s offices in the James Monroe Building in Richmond. The Youngkin administration appointed former Trump official McKenzie Snow as Virginia’s Deputy Secretary of Education.(Parker Michels-Boyce/ For the Virginia Mercury)
Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 8:06 AM EDT
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Gov. Glenn Youngkin has appointed McKenzie Snow — a former Trump official and aide to one-time U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos — as Virginia’s Deputy Secretary of Education, the administration confirmed.

Snow began the role on Monday and will join state Secretary of Education Aimee Guidera on the governor’s Cabinet, overseeing instruction in Virginia from pre-kindergarten to higher education.

Previously, she served as director of the Division of Learner Support for the New Hampshire Department of Education, supervising more than 110 employees and representing the agency to state legislators and local school administrators, according to Youngkin officials.

“The governor has built a team who have been leaders and change agents in their fields,” spokesperson Macaulay Porter said in a statement. “McKenzie knows first-hand what it takes to build a best-in-class education system and we are thrilled to have McKenzie join the administration.”

Much of Snow’s work in education policy has centered on school choice. Before joining the Trump administration, she worked as policy director at the Foundation for Excellence in Education, a think tank formed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in 2008. In the role, she advocated for multiple initiatives aimed at expanding alternative education options, including increased funding for charter schools and education savings accounts.

Adopted by five states, savings account programs allow families to invest the state money appropriated for their children — known as per-pupil funding in Virginia — into accounts that can be used to pay for private school tuition and often other expenses, including transportation and textbooks.

Establishing a similar program has been a long-time priority for some state legislators, but opponents argue there’s little accountability to ensure that funding is being used for educational purposes and that children are receiving a good education. Detractors also argue they funnel taxpayer money to private schools — often religious academies.

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.(Virginia Mercury)

The Virginia Mercury is a new, nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization covering Virginia government and policy.

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