National Parent Coalition Sends Senate Questions for Betsy DeVos

Betsy DeVos, picked by US President-elect Donald Trump for education secretary, speaks during the USA Thank You Tour on December 9 in Grand Rapids, Mich.

A Senate committee has postponed its confirmation hearing for education secretary designee Betsy DeVos until 5 p.m. January 17, officials said late Monday.

In a tweet Monday night, Republicans in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee said the move was made "at the request of Senate leadership to accommodate Senate schedule".

Michigan Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, both Democrats from DeVos's home state, have released statements expressing concerns with her nomination and are expected to vote against confirmation.

The committee's statement on the scheduling change for DeVos said nothing about her incomplete ethics report. "She has lived in a billionaire bubble of privilege". She inherited the fortune built by her father, founder of a Michigan-based auto parts supply company, and is married to Dick DeVos, son of the Amway co-founder Rich DeVos. DeVos and her family have donated more than $20 million to Republican campaigns, party committees, Super PAC and their allies across the country.

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The same year MI removed its charter school cap, North Carolina lifted its statewide cap on public charter schools.

Another caucus member, Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), said he has never worked as a teacher, but his years in the Wisconsin Legislature showed him the havoc school choice can wreak on children. In 1993, she successfully pushed for the law that paved the way for these schools.

There is a push, too, by her supporters to persuade the education panel to confirm her as education secretary, which seems likely despite the outcry against her. The Common Sense Kids Action has encouraged senators to ask questions about education, technology, privacy, and early learning during the hearing, and the National Education Association, the Network for Public Education, and Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, are opposing her confirmation. Opponents of charters generally point to the fact that the schools can choose to reject certain students, that they frequently give only give partial scholarships, and that they increase segregation.

"Betsy believes in a diversity of experiences and in supporting all of America's students, regardless what label you put on their schools".

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