Trump's Education Secretary Pick Betsy DeVos Says She'll Be Public Schools Advocate

Malcolm Fuller
January 18, 2017

Current secretary of education John B. King.

Or rather, her wallet is.

"She has championed providing a world-class education to every child, no matter their ZIP code or socioeconomic status", Stephen Waguespack, president of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, said in a letter dated January 9 to the committee.

Daniel Olson, superintendent of Monona Grove School District, said he hopes DeVos will support the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act, or the federal education law that in 2015 replaced No Child Left Behind, and that "she supports public education, in general". She's a vice president of the Michigan Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff, and she's taught in charters her entire career.

"I look forward to you coming to CT and talking about the role of guns in schools", Murphy said in reference to the Sandy Hook school shooting that left 27 elementary students and teachers dead.

"I would imagine that there's probably a gun in the school to protect from potential grizzlies", she said.

If DeVos is confirmed, she will oversee a department with 4,400 employee and a $68 billion budget. She claims both parties are at fault.

DeVos and her family have given more than a million dollars to sitting Republican Senators, according to Federal Election Commission reports, as well as some $10 million more to Super PACs and party committees.

"I have never believed in that", she said. "Somebody's going to pay for it", she said.

Hankins said politics should not play a role in a child's education. "And she seems at best skeptical of that".

HASSAN: Well, look, one of the foundations of our democracy is that all of our children deserve access to quality public education, regardless of their personal circumstances. And what Ms. DeVos has championed often are unaccountable schools.

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She explained that charter schools do not "get paid" until their doors are open, even though most expenses - the building, hiring teachers and other costs - must be covered up front. "The status quo is not acceptable".

DeVos is the chairman of the American Federation for Children (AFC), the nation's largest school choice advocacy group.

INSKEEP: Let me ask you though, Senator, essentially she's an advocate for school choice, for parents, for families, being able to choose more than one school.

DeVos, a billionaire who likes to spend money on her projects, has donated large sums to help support efforts banning same-sex marriage. Students First pumped millions of dollars into campaigns in Pennsylvania and beyond in the past six years. We urge our leaders to draw a circle of protection around programs created to benefit our nation's most vulnerable students and will defend these programs when threatened.

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran and state Reps.

HASSAN: I am a proud supporter of public charter schools here in New Hampshire as well. Bender, however, said he expects DeVos to give public schools the opportunity to address academic achievement with more flexibility because of less federal involvement. DeVos has no meaningful experience in the classroom or schools, Weingarten said.

DeVos herself has no personal experience with government-run education.

The DeVos family has a long, well-documented history of funding organizations dedicated to undermining and restricting the rights of LGBTQ people.
"Globally, 35 other countries outrank the U.S.in student math performance, and 20 beat us in reading". Bernard Sanders of Vermont, who are members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee that will hold the hearing.

"We are putting a price tag on the education of the children of this state", said Anderson.

"It doesn't just have to be a unionwide thing", Belesky said.

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