Warner announces opposition to DeVos for Education post

mark warnerU.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) today announced that he will oppose confirming Betsy Devos as U.S. Secretary of Education, and released the following statement:

“After reviewing Ms. DeVos’ qualifications and considering input from Virginia educators and parents, I have determined that I cannot support her nomination to serve as U.S. Secretary of Education.

“I have heard from thousands of my constituents with concerns that Ms. DeVos’ single-minded focus on charter schools and voucherizing federal education dollars is out of step with the education climate in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Additionally, countless calls and letters from educators and parents of students with special needs have emphasized concerns about Ms. DeVos’ commitment to enforcing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Further, her testimony before the Senate HELP Committee leaves questions in my mind about her understanding of policies related to campus sexual assault, student achievement, and school safety. As a Governor who made one of the largest single investments in K-12 education in Virginia history, I will not stand by and allow the Commonwealth’s high-quality public school system to be undermined.

“Access to a quality public education is key to ensuring every child has a fair shot, and the Secretary of Education’s role in safeguarding students’ civil rights and safety cannot be understated. Ms. DeVos has not demonstrated that she appreciates the scope of these responsibilities, or that she is prepared to effectively fulfill them. For these reasons, I will not be supporting her nomination to be Secretary of Education.”