Thursday, December 8, 2016

Congressional Leadership on Education Will Agree with Philosophy and Policy of DeVos-Trump | janresseger

Congressional Leadership on Education Will Agree with Philosophy and Policy of DeVos-Trump | janresseger:

Congressional Leadership on Education Will Agree with Philosophy and Policy of DeVos-Trump


Our democratic system was designed with checks and balances, but this year as Donald Trump’s presidential term begins, he and his secretary of education will likely be working with a very sympathetic Congress.  With our executive and legislative branches both dominated by conservative Republican majorities, there will be few checks and balances.
When President-elect Trump nominated Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), the Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, indicated his strong support: “Betsy DeVos is an excellent choice. The Senate’s education committee will move swiftly in January to consider her nomination. Betsy has worked for years to improve educational opportunities for all children. As secretary, she will be able to implement the new law fixing No Child Left Behind just as Congress wrote it, reversing the trend to a national school board and restoring to states, governors, school boards, teachers, and parents greater responsibility for improving education in their local communities.”  Alexander has long been a supporter of states’ rights in public education; he led the development of the new Every Student Succeeds Act, which curtails the role of the Secretary of Education to dictate policy to the states.
There is another area in which Betsy DeVos and Lamar Alexander agree. Alexander tried to make federal vouchers—the diversion of tax dollars for students to carry as tuition to private and parochial schools—part of the new Every Student Succeeds Act. He was unable to muster enough support in Congress to get federal vouchers inserted into the bill. We’ll have to watch what happens now that he and President-elect Trump and Trump’s nominee for secretary of education share, as a federal priority, the establishment of a school voucher program.
What about the chair of the House Education and the Workforce Committee? John Kline (R-Minnesota), the current chair, did not run for re-election in November. He is slated to be replaced by Virginia Foxx, a congresswoman from Banner Elk, North Carolina. Here is how Kimberly Hefling describes Foxx for POLITICO: “Virginia Foxx pulled herself up by her own bootstraps and wants every American child to be able to do the same. As the 73-year-old GOP lawmaker and former community college president is poised to assume the leadership of the Congressional Leadership on Education Will Agree with Philosophy and Policy of DeVos-Trump | janresseger:


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