March 24, 2017

Activists To IL Senators: 'Just Vote No' Against Education Nominee Betsy DeVos

01 February 2017, 12:46 | Oscar Perry

Maine Sen. King to Oppose Trump's Education Secretary Nominee

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Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins both questioned DeVos's commitment to public education, with Murkowski saying that DeVos's "one-sided" involvement in the education world raise questions about whether she was aware of "what's broken in our public schools". Patty Murray, the top Democrat on the committee, on bullying of LGBT students, DeVos nearly directly - and uncited - quoted Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of Obama's Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department.

DeVos' nomination now moves to a full Senate vote for which a date has not been set.

As debate on her nomination got underway, Sen. Let's give her a chance because she is supporter of public education, and she's proven that in Grand Rapids - charter schools are public schools.

Trump education adviser Rob Goad described the plagiarism allegations as "character assassination".

They were among other Senators who raised concerns about DeVos' comments during a hearing earlier this month, when she appeared not to understand students with disabilities have a right to an equal education under federal law.

"Her hearing was so lacking in any knowledge at all about policy in public education", said U.S. Sen.

"To level an accusation against her about these words included in responses to almost 1,400 questions - 139 alone from the ranking member - is simply a desperate attempt to discredit Betsy DeVos, who will serve the Department of Education and our nation's children with distinction if confirmed", said Goad, who sits on the White House Domestic Policy Council. Lamar Alexander, Democrats submitted over 1,000 questions to the nominee for her to take home and do at her leisure.

Other Republicans pushed back on her behalf.

In arguing against DeVos' nomination, Democrats said they still have deep concerns about DeVos' financial entanglements, despite her reaching an agreement suitable to the nonpartisan Office of Government Ethics to divest herself of more than 100 investments.

DeVos - a longtime supporter of school vouchers and charter schools in her native MI - has galvanized supporters and opponents alike.

DeVos, who is married to the billionaire heir to the Amway fortune, is a strong proponent of private schools. "This nominee is being jammed through with corners being cut".

"We just received responses to hundreds of written questions yesterday, less than 24 hours before this scheduled vote, and with no time to fully review and ask any follow-up questions".

DeVos, a wealthy Michigan GOP donor and conservative activist, has long supported charter schools and allowing school choice.

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