Republicans invite DeVos to North Carolina for advice on expanding school choice

FILE- In this Jan. 17 2017 file

Moore, like DeVos a MI native, said the incoming secretary of Education has "worked tirelessly" to destroy the state's schools.

Senate GOP leaders are confident they can squeak DeVos through the Senate with the support of 50 Republican senators Tuesday afternoon, plus a historic tiebreaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence.

Still, Andrea Jackson, a college adviser in her son's high school in Detroit, disagrees and says she was in tears following the DeVos' confirmation.

To numerous teachers' groups and other critics who protested, called and emailed their senators, the confirmation of the pro-charter school, pro-voucher MI billionaire was a blow to public education. The Senate voted 50 to 50 this week, with Vice President Pence breaking the tie. They can appoint anyone as education secretary and that will never change. Jr., who served during the past year of Barack Obama's presidency.

As Republicans and DeVos' supporters argued that her support of charter schools in MI has led to improvements in education, Democrats and DeVos' other critics said the evidence suggests otherwise, such as in Detroit.

A MI billionaire and major Republican donor, she has spent three decades using her wealth and political clout to advocate for alternatives to public schools, particularly taxpayer-funded vouchers to help parents pay tuition for private and religious schools. As a devout Christian, she has inspired fear that she will try to push religion in schools.

Before she was let into the school by the administration she was denied entrance. And DeVos did nothing during the confirmation process to win over Democrats who were - at best - skeptical of her nomination since Donald Trump announced her as his pick to lead the Department of Education.

Civil rights organizations released statements opposing DeVos' nomination, but here DeVos used language reminiscent of the civil rights movement.

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DeVos has been criticized for showing a lack of depth of knowledge of the education system in her confirmation hearings, but is primarily opposed by Democrats because of her standing as a wealthy conservative who is pro-school choice.

DeVos joins just four other Trump Cabinet nominees confirmed to their posts. She referred to the unprecedented debate over her nomination as "drama". "The open question now is, will the future leadership of the department heed that message?" DeVos has said that this was a clerical error, according to The Advocate.

"Sandy, and teachers like her, devote far more time and effort than is mandated to ensure that our public school students have a solid foundation in education and for life". He also noted vouchers create a constitutional issue in that they publicly fund religious schools. This proposal, which would require congressional approval, seemed a heavy lift even before the resistance to DeVos's nomination. Collins was also bothered by DeVos' "lack of familiarity" with funding laws for special education programs.

She can now get on with her work, but this episode shouldn't pass without noting what it says about the modern Democratic Party.

That hits at the heart of what DeVos wants to accomplish in this job, one she never sought nor thought she'd do until approached late a year ago.

Wolf is also concerned about DeVos potentially giving state the responsibility of working with those who fall under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), which guides schools in how to give children with disabilities the assistance that they need. "And so I think it's a scary time". Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and U.S. Sen. "We have to come out here and be a bit more visible about how upset we are", said workshop student Katherine Gibbel.

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