January 19, 2017

Van Hollen Statement in Opposition to Confirmation of Secretary of Education Nominee Betsy DeVos

Washington, DC -Today U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen issued the following statement announcing his opposition to the confirmation of Betsy DeVos to serve as the next Secretary of Education:

"The education and success of our children is central to the hopes and dreams of every family in Maryland and across the country, and it is integral to our nation's future. With that in mind, the Department of Education is charged with one of America's most critical tasks - providing all children, in every neighborhood, from pre-K to college, with the tools they need to reach their dreams. It is a department that needs strong leadership with a clear vision. And after this week's confirmation hearing, it is apparent that Betsy DeVos is not the right person for the job.

"Mrs. DeVos displayed a concerning lack of knowledge about some of the most important issues in the education community, from how to measure student progress to how to make college more affordable. We must do much more to strengthen our schools, but her belief that we should prioritize school voucher programs and for-profit charter schools above public education is a convenient excuse for not investing adequate resources in our public schools. Her refusal to unequivocally state that she would enforce protections for children with disabilities was appalling. And her cavalier response on the issue of guns in schools deeply disturbed me.

"I do not believe that she has the experience necessary to manage such a vital agency or the demonstrated commitment to equal access to a high-quality education for every child. I cannot support Mrs. DeVos's nomination as Secretary of the Department of Education."