(Washington, D.C.) – Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA), ranking member of the Education and the Workforce Committee, released the following statements on Secretary DeVos proposing a list of priorities when distributing competitive grants from the Department of Education. Among others, the list includes privatization—a top priority for Secretary DeVos, whose only experience before becoming Secretary was funding privatization schemes across the country.
“Since her confirmation hearing, I have voiced concern that Secretary DeVos would abuse her position to prioritize privatization, and that’s exactly what we’re seeing,” said Senator Murray. “Instead of listening to the millions of students, parents, and teachers who stood up against her extreme ideological agenda, her proposal will allow her to prioritize applicants that would siphon taxpayer funds away from the public schools that serve the vast majority of students. This is shameful and I urge Secretary DeVos to implement laws and award federal funding as Congress intended—not as she sees fit.”
“The US Department of Education’s top priority should be to support state and local education leaders in providing a quality public education, from pre-k through college, for all students – regardless of where they live, how much money their parents make, or how they learn,” said Rep. Scott. “Despite the lack of evidence proving the effectiveness of vouchers, the Secretary is proposing to divert taxpayer dollars to private schools and for-profit interests through the use of supplemental priorities. This is not aligned with the will of Congress nor taxpayers. I urge the Secretary to heed the advice of the overwhelming majority of Americans and prioritize investment in public schools and the students they serve.”