Nominee for Secretary of Education brings concern for Educators

Many of President Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees have gotten heat from Americans, but a particular nominee has raised the most outcry against her eligibility as Secretary of Education. Betsy DeVos, a Republican businesswoman and philanthropist, has received much backlash from educators all over the country.

In her confirmation hearing, her responses sparked concern because of her responses to questions such as “Can you commit to us tonight that you will not work to privatize public schools or cut a single penny from public education?” asked by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.

DeVos responded that “she looked forward to discussing the matter, if confirmed, and is hopeful that [we] can solve those issues and empower parents to make choices on behalf of their children that are right for them.”

Amanda Utterback, Master’s of Arts in Education concentrating in Special Education, is one of many in the education field concerned about the current nominee, “Personally, one of my concerns is that if elected she could push to privatize public education which could put Special Education programs in public schools at risk.”

This further entailed that she was neither for nor against privatized public schools or make budget cuts from public education. This was only one of the many questions asked at her hearing. Questions included how and whether or not federally funded schools support IDEA (The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) to what is the best way of measuring student success: proficiency or growth.

Democrats are going against her confirmation, believing that, based on the answers she has given at the confirmation hearing, is not eligible to be the new Secretary of Education.

DeVos’s focus is on the K-12 system, and what she has said in concern of higher education is that she does not support tuition-free college when asked about it by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT. Already his second week in office, only two of his cabinet nominees have been confirmed, John Kelly, Secretary of Homeland Security and James Mattis, Secretary of Defense.

Although DeVos will not receive a second confirmation hearing, it is unclear as to whether or not she will be confirmed with so much push back from not only democrats, but also teacher unions throughout the country.

On Tuesday, Jan. 31, a Senate panel approved DeVos nomination, 11-12. Thus, setting up for full Senate consideration. As of the writing of this articles, two GOP senators are undecided about their vote for her.

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