Senators tell DeVos she has a tough job defending Education budget

Greg Nash

Betsy DeVos faced a tough sell for her budget proposal on Tuesday, with Senate Republicans and Democrats telling the Education secretary before she even testified that her planned $9.2 billion in funding cuts will likely die in committee.

“I think it’s likely the kinds of cuts proposed in this budget will not occur, so we really need to fully understand your priorities and why they are your priorities,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, said at a panel hearing.

{mosads}Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), meanwhile, chastised DeVos for proposed cuts to afterschool programs, Special Olympics education, programs that train principals and school teachers, and aid to students struggling to pay for college.

“The Department of Education budget can summed up very quickly in one word: ‘abysmal,’” Leahy said.

The Vermont Democrat also criticized DeVos’s proposal to invest $4 billion in the school choice program.

“You ought to come to a rural area like Vermont where schools may be an hour or more away than people live,” he said. “School choice is not under any circumstance an option, especially in the winter where we may have had 10 inches of snow overnight.”

Tags Patrick Leahy Roy Blunt

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