U.S.

Angus King to oppose Betsy DeVos as education secretary

Angus King to oppose Betsy DeVos as education secretary

In a letter Monday, Tennessee Republican Senator Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, rejected Democratic Party requests for a second hearing. It's no secret that she believes firmly that public schools are failures and need to give way to private interests where, presumably, profits could be made. Before her confirmation hearing began, committee member Joe Lieberman praised DeVos for not being part of what he called the "education establishment".

Laura Bloomberg, associate dean in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and former public administrator, said she "could imagine that some people would interpret tax credits as vouchers", though a traditional voucher system is more like a state-funded scholarship.

DeVos has been a leader in education and has a proven track record of getting the job done right for kids, parents and teachers.

No Republican has indicated any problems with the DeVos nomination.

DeVos' nomination is set for a January 31 vote before the Senate education committee. The future of our nation depends upon the quality of our children's education. Regardless of where you may find yourself either in support or against DeVos' plans to privatize schools and vary their accountability measures, her evident lack of qualifications is not a partisan issue.

The president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, in a speech at the National Press Club prior to the first DeVos congressional hearing, summed it up this way: "The president-elect, in his selection of Betsy DeVos, has chosen the most ideological, anti-public education nominee put forward since President Carter created a Cabinet-level Department of Education". But DeVos' approach to programs for students with disabilities - particularly her comments on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act - troubled her. Ask them if they support public education.

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"I still have concerns", Henderson said of DeVos.

Republican political science student Tyler Bushey agrees with DeVos's plans for voucher programs because he believes that it will help low income students get a good education outside of their zip code. Without the provisions outlined in IDEA, many of those students would be under-served or lose their opportunity for an education altogether. She co-authored with her husband Michigan's 1993 charter school law and has long championed alternatives to public education. In addition, Mrs. DeVos failed to address the original question I posed to her in her confirmation hearing, which was about why she is comfortable with voucher programs that force parents and students to sign away their rights under IDEA.

The groups tied the bill to Betsy DeVos, President Donald Trump's controversial pick for U.S. Secretary of Education.

The vote was originally meant to take place last Tuesday, but has gotten pushed back to January 31.

One of the beneficiaries of our education reforms attended DeVos's hearing to show her support. The political power of such constituents is impossible to turn back, says Greene, who runs a lively and data-rich group blog on education. "This statement betrays the commitment of thousands of public school teachers who work hard every day in our public schools, many in tough working conditions, to ensure our children are educated".


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