The confirmation hearings will be rough but DeVos will head the Department of Education
Today on Capitol Hill Betsy DeVos, the billionaire conservative activist and nominee for secretary of education, will likely face one of the most contentious confirmation hearings in the history of the department. She will have some strong support from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who has been a fan of DeVos for a long time and the two have worked together on education issues before.
DeVos, has a winter home in the Orlando area and is not stranger to Bush and his love for charter schools when he was the governor of Florida.
Bush described DeVos, who is a major contributor to the Republican Party, as an “outstanding pick” for the cabinet position, reports The Hill.
Bush said he looked forward to DeVos’ “bold leadership.”
“I cannot think of a more effective and passionate change agent to press for a new education vision, one in which students, rather than adults and bureaucracies, become the priority in our nation’s classrooms,” he said.
DeVos, who supports school vouchers for charter schools as a means to bring about school choice, is chairwoman of the American Federation for Children (AFC), a charter school promotion group, and is also a board member of Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE). Bush and his foundation have served as champions for the Common Core standards.
Dick and Betsy DeVos are also major donors to FEE. In 2015, they donated between $50,000 and $100,000.
But while DeVos is expected to be confirmed by Congress that does not mean that she won’t face a number of tough questions during today’s hearings.
Her critics believe that her agenda will undermine public education and drain resources from traditional public schools.
She will face tough questioning regarding her school choice advocacy, her past political contributions, and her views on civil rights, as the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee will handle her confirmation hearings today.
In a letter to Real Clear Politics Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s office responded with a link to the 16-page letter she sent to DeVos on January 9, with plenty of aggressive questioning and some strong words on her record. “There is no precedent for an Education Department Secretary nominee with your lack of experience in public education,” the Massachusetts lawmaker wrote.
But despite the tough questions, DeVos will likely get confirmed and be in place by February.
Some quotes used in this story were from The Hill