Senate Committee Votes to Move Betsy DeVos Nomination Forward
00:45, Feb 1, 2017
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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.
In spite of general party unity, some Republican senators cast their vote to move DeVos forward with stated apprehension. She passed after Sen.
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., however, said that her and other Democrats' opposition to DeVos is not about school choice or charter schools that she supported in MI but their belief that she has worked to drain funding from public schools to the benefit of private and for-profit schools. DeVos seemed to want to ace this proverbial test, so she answered them to the best of her ability, even possibly lifting quotes without attribution.
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The Trump Administration has not yet responded to these allegations, but those opposing DeVos are working hard to give proof of her guilt.
In the hearing earlier this month, DeVos agreed that Trump described sexual assault in a leaked hot mic video from a 2005 entertainment show and turned a discussion of guns in schools turned on grizzly bears.
"Her hearing was so lacking in any knowledge at all about policy in public education", said U.S. Sen.
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Republicans Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska approved DeVos in the committee vote, but they have not pledged to vote for her in the Senate-wide vote. Alexander said she has answered dozens of times more questions - some 1,400 sent her by Democrats - and spent more time before the committee than any other recent nominee for education secretary. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) went so far as to question whether DeVos was qualified for the role, speculating that her family's financial support for the Republican Party inspired the nomination. DeVos is married to Amway heir and former head Dick DeVos and both will apparently cease funding Republican politicians and efforts if she is confirmed as expected. "This nominee is being jammed through with corners being cut". In rural areas, options like charter schools and vouchers are typically not available to students, Murkowski noted.
Thomas Crowley, a protester, said, "We need to protect our public schools and I don't think Betsy DeVos is the person we can count on to do that".
Make no mistake: With this nomination, President Trump tried to reignite the education wars, using the aspirations of parents for their children to try to pit parents against their children's teachers.
Her confirmation hearing showed that she simply has no knowledge of the complex inner workings of our education system. In Florida, almost 60 percent of children in public schools qualify for either free- or reduced-price lunch programs.
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