Politico Morning Education has an advance copy of DeVos’ testimony.
She will defend the administration’s draconian budget cuts by asserting that choice is the only “reform” that matters.
EDUCATION SECRETARY BETSY DEVOS TO FACE LAWMAKERS: DeVos is back on Capitol Hill today to testify for the first time since her contentious confirmation hearing. She could take some hostile questions before a House appropriations subcommittee about the administration’s budget proposal, which seeks to cut 13 percent from Education Department programs while also giving $1 billion to school choice efforts that would encourage charter schools, private school vouchers and more freedom for traditional public school students to pick a school in their district they want to attend.
– During her testimony , DeVos is expected to explain that an administration goal is to promote local education funding systems that “expand educational choice in our public school systems,” according to prepared remarks obtained by Morning Education. Other goals include funding state and local efforts that support scholarship programs that allow students to attend private schools and take advantage of other educational options and boosting a federal charter schools program. “Each of these proposals reflects my strong belief that a greater focus on student-centered reforms is the next logical step following the enactment of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which recognized and restored the primary role of states and school districts in operating a public education system that puts students and parents first,” she will say, according to the testimony.
– DeVos is also expected to say that while past presidents have “attempted to find the right set of levers here in Washington” to improve schools, that “unfortunately, I don’t think any of us are happy with the results of these seemingly endless, Washington-led reform efforts.” But she’ll point to the $4 billion the federal government has spent over the years to help start charter schools as an exception, referring to charter schools as “a bottom-up, locally driven education reform strategy based on empowering educators and providing choices to students and families.”
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