Archives for category: Betsy DeVos

The Trump administration appears poised to take advantage of the national crisis torelease controversial changes, like announcing yesterday that it was dropping the federal fuel economy standards that were intended to reduce air pollution.

Now, Politico tells us that the Department of Education is likely to revise Title IX regulations. Betsy DeVos long ago made clear that she sympathized with the young men who had been accused of rape or sexual harassment, not the young women who accused them. So expect revisions to make it harder for young women to step forward to complain and have their complaints investigated.

Politico writes:

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION FORGES AHEAD ON TITLE IX OVERHAUL: The completion of OMB’s review on Friday officially clears the way for DeVos to issue the new rule, which is expected to shake up how sexual assault and harassment charges are handled at every college campus and K-12 school.

— However, an Education Department spokesperson said the agency does not have an anticipated publication date yet.

— OMB meetings with groups on the rule are also still scheduled through April 16, according to the website.

— Even without a publication date, hundreds of education and victims advocacy groups, state attorneys general and some Senate Democrats are calling on the Education Department to put off the final rule until the coronavirus national emergency ends. Most groups asked to suspend nonessential rulemaking, saying that school resources are already spread thin trying to figure out how to move instruction online and support students.

— But some lawyers who represent students accused of misconduct say the Trump administration should go ahead and issue the rule, arguing that college Title IX coordinators may have time on their hands with campuses empty.

I reported yesterday that ELA tests are suspended. In this time of rumors, fake news, and disinformation,let me clarify.

The distribution of the ELA tests has been suspended. The tests have not been suspended.

The schools will be closed. The students and teachers will be home. But the tests will be given.

By whom, it’s not clear.

To whom, no one knows.

The sovereign state of New York is waiting for permission from Betsy DeVos to cancel the Sacred Tests.

Please, New York, gets spine.

You can’t give tests when the schools are closed!

If you have an hour to spare, you might enjoy this no-holds-barred interview by Leonard Lopate, asking questions of me about SLAYING GOLIATH.

In a surprising turn, a bipartisan majority of the Senate voted to overturn Betsy DeVos’s rule to restrict debt relief to students who were bilked by colleges that defrauded them. The House already rebuked DeVos and passed the legislation. The bill will go to Trump, who may veto it or sign it. Will he protect Betsy DeVos or the students who were cheated? The Republicans who voted with Democrats were moved by the plight of veterans who were bilked.

WASHINGTON — In a bipartisan rebuke, the Senate voted Wednesday to overturn a major Trump administration rule that would sharply limit debt relief for students misled by schools that lured them in with false claims about their graduates’ career and earning prospects.

In a 53-42 vote that included 10 Republicans, the Senate easily struck down a revised Education Department rule finalized in September by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. The House passed a companion resolution in January. The legislation will now go to President Trump, who will decide whether to uphold the rule with a veto or side with Congress over his own education secretary.

He has told Senate Republicans he is “neutral” on repealing the rule, though he has yet to comment on his veto intentions.

Ms. DeVos’s rule was one of several efforts to rewrite Obama-era debt relief measures, which allow students who attended schools that committed serious fraud to request that their loan debts be forgiven. Ms. DeVos’s changes raised the bar for borrowers’ relief claims, requiring applicants to individually prove that a school knowingly misled them and that they were financially harmed by the deception. It also set a three-year deadline on claims….

Democrats emphasized the harm from the rule to veterans bilked out of G.I. Bill benefits, a critical move that brought on Republicans.

Ms. DeVos’s changes “made it extremely difficult for these students to get any relief,” Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois and the minority whip, who led the effort in the Senate, said on Wednesday. “The students are up in arms over it, and I’m joining them.”

A policy statement issued by the Trump administration in February defended Ms. DeVos’s rule as a change that “restores due process, the rule of law, and student choice,” and said that the president’s advisers “would recommend that he veto” attempts to overturn it.

The Senate action poses a political quandary for Mr. Trump. He has pressed the Education Department for a proposal to match sweeping college debt plans proposed by Democratic presidential candidates. And veterans, who backed the Senate measure, have been key political supporters….

So far, the Education Department has approved 51,000 loan-relief applications — nearly all of them during the Obama administration — and eliminated some $535 million in debt. About 170,000 applications still await a decision.

Ms. DeVos had denounced the debt-relief system as a “free money” giveaway, and sought repeatedly to curtail it. Her first attempt was blocked in 2018, after a federal judge ruled that the Education Department broke privacy laws by illegally obtaining information from the Social Security Administration on individual borrowers’ earnings.

Ironic, isn’t it, that Secretary DeVos, a billionaire who has never known debt, has no sympathy whatever for veterans, war widows, poor people, or young people who were lured by fake universities to pursue worthless degrees. Compassion and empathy are not her strong points.

Fred Klonsky, retired teacher in Illinois, recounts Erik Prince’s long history of engaging in espionage against his fellow citizens.

https://preaprez.wordpress.com/2020/03/07/erik-prince-recruits-cia-and-british-spies-to-spy-on-us-for-donald-trump/

He writes:

The story in the Times details how Prince recruited ex-U.S. and British spies to infiltrate organizations including, but not even closely limited to, teacher unions.

Erik Prince is Betsy DeVos’ brother. DeVos is Trump’s Secretary of Education. Devos also has close ties to many Michigan-based right-wing, anti-union organizations. Among them is the Mackinaw Center for Public Policy.

One of the former spies, an ex-MI6 officer named Richard Seddon, helped run a 2017 operation to copy files and record conversations in a Michigan office of the American Federation of Teachers, one of the largest teachers’ unions in the nation. Mr. Seddon directed an undercover operative to secretly tape the union’s local leaders and try to gather information that could be made public to damage the organization, documents show.

Of course, this is nothing new.

For example, in 2011 all my work emails and personnel files were the subject of a FOIA filed by Ben Velderman of the Michigan-based Education Action group which had ties to the Mackinaw Center and Betsy DeVos.

This was just after having served as president of my NEA union local for ten years.

(The operations reported in the Times were) run by Project Veritas, a conservative group that has gained attention using hidden cameras and microphones for sting operations on news organizations, Democratic politicians and liberal advocacy groups. Mr. Seddon’s role in the teachers’ union operation — detailed in internal Project Veritas emails that have emerged from the discovery process of a court battle between the group and the union — has not previously been reported, nor has Mr. Prince’s role in recruiting Mr. Seddon for the group’s activities.

This is a step up from the days when these groups were using hacks like Ben Velderman to do their dirty work.

Now they are using professional spies.

Is this legal? Can’t Erik Prince be sued for violating the civil rights of others?

Erik Prince, brother of Betsy DeVos, imagines himself a hero. He owned a mercenary army, which hired killers for foreign conflicts, now he has a network of spies who infiltrate peaceful domestic organizations, like teachers’ unions. If your phone is tapped, Erik or one of his spies might be listening in. Is this even legal? Does he care?

The New York Times reported on Prince’s latest vile caper:

Erik Prince, the security contractor with close ties to the Trump administration, has in recent years helped recruit former American and British spies for secretive intelligence-gathering operations that included infiltrating Democratic congressional campaigns, labor organizations and other groups considered hostile to the Trump agenda, according to interviews and documents.

One of the former spies, an ex-MI6 officer named Richard Seddon, helped run a 2017 operation to copy files and record conversations in a Michigan office of the American Federation of Teachers, one of the largest teachers’ unions in the nation. Mr. Seddon directed an undercover operative to secretly tape the union’s local leaders and try to gather information that could be made public to damage the organization, documents show.
Using a different alias the next year, the same undercover operative infiltrated the congressional campaign of Abigail Spanberger, then a former C.I.A. officer who went on to win an important House seat in Virginia as a Democrat. The campaign discovered the operative and fired her.

Both operations were run by Project Veritas, a conservative group that has gained attention using hidden cameras and microphones for sting operations on news organizations, Democratic politicians and liberal advocacy groups. Mr. Seddon’s role in the teachers’ union operation — detailed in internal Project Veritas emails that have emerged from the discovery process of a court battle between the group and the union — has not previously been reported, nor has Mr. Prince’s role in recruiting Mr. Seddon for the group’s activities.

Both Project Veritas and Mr. Prince have ties to President Trump’s aides and family. Whether any Trump administration officials or advisers to the president were involved in the operations, even tacitly, is unclear. But the effort is a glimpse of a vigorous private campaign to try to undermine political groups or individuals perceived to be in opposition to Mr. Trump’s agenda.

Mr. Prince, the former head of Blackwater Worldwide and the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, has at times served as an informal adviser to Trump administration officials. He worked with the former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn during the presidential transition. In 2017, he met with White House and Pentagon officials to pitch a plan to privatize the Afghan war using contractors in lieu of American troops. Jim Mattis, then the defense secretary, rejected the idea.

Valerie Strauss wrote a stunning dissection of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s lies to Congress in her recent testimony.

Was she lying because of ignorance or a desire to mislead the public? She lied about charter wait lists, about progress over time on NAEP scores, and about the failure of the federal Charter Schools Program, which spends $440 million to launch new charters, entirely at DeVos’ discretion.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2020/03/07/betsy-devoss-problem-with-numbers/

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has a problem with numbers. As in, she sometimes cites numbers that just aren’t accurate.

DeVos, of course, is hardly the only government official to cite inaccurate numbers to make a point, but that’s no reason not to point it out when she does — and she did during two appearances in the last week before congressional committees when defending the Trump administration’s proposed 2021 budget.

Let’s look at a few examples from her testimony.

One misleading figure that gets repeated, and not just by DeVos, is this: There are 1 million students on waiting lists at charter schools throughout the country. DeVos uses the statistic to show there is enormous demand for charters — which are publicly funded but privately operated — but not enough schools to accept all children who want to go. That, the argument goes, is why charter expansion should be encouraged.

To be sure, some charter schools are indeed in high demand and do have long waiting lists. But on some of the lists, there are duplicates, children who are already in other schools and other issues.

The 1 million figure was first cited in 2013 when the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools first made the claim. That alliance is led by Nina Rees, who worked for former vice president Richard B. Cheney. The alliance quickly revised the number it cited — to a minimum of 520,000 when it acknowledged that students were on duplicate lists.

In 2014, Gary Miron, a professor at Western Michigan University, and Kevin Welner, a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder and founder of the National Education Policy Center, wrote a policy brief titled “Wait, Wait, Don’t Mislead Me,” which gave nine evidence-based reasons the waiting list numbers from the charter alliance should not be believed. These include no external verification, the same students on multiple lists and students who were never removed from waiting lists after lengthy periods.

In 2016, WGBH in Boston came to the same conclusion when it investigated charter waiting list numbers used to justify lifting the cap on charters. There were students on waiting lists who were happily enrolled in another school, with no desire to leave. Citizens for Public Schools found the waiting list for Boston Public Schools and Boston charter schools to be comparable. Ultimately, voters rejected a statewide referendum to lift the cap on charter.

And yet DeVos used that debunked number when defending her budget before Congress.

DeVos also talked about scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as NAEP. It’s often referred to as “the nation’s report card” or the “gold standard” in student assessment because it is seen as the most consistent, nationally representative measure of U.S. student achievement since the 1990s and because it is supposed to be able to assess what students “know and can do….”

NAEP scores are eagerly anticipated as evidence that schools are — or are not — making progress, and DeVos says, on this score, they aren’t.

According to DeVos, there has been no growth on NAEP scores in the last 20 years. She said the federal government has spent “over a trillion dollars at the federal level to close the achievement gap in the last 40 years” but “that achievement gap has not closed one bit.”

Not exactly.

According to Stanford University’s Center for Education Policy Analysis, the achievement gaps between white and black students and white and Hispanic students have been narrowing for decades — although unsteadily….

The gaps are still large, to be sure, but to say they haven’t budged is just not accurate.

The source of DeVos’s statement that $1 trillion has been spent over 40 years to close the achievement gap is unclear. The Education Department did not respond to a query about it.

During testimony last week before a House appropriations subcommittee, DeVos had an exchange with Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) about charter schools in which, again, she tossed out questionable numbers.

As I reported here (https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2020/02/28/four-especially-testy-moments-when-betsy-devos-testified-capitol-hill/ ), Pocan raised the issue of fraud in the federal Charter Schools Program, which has approved $3.3 billion for the expansion of charter schools since 1994. Forty percent of operating charter schools were created with money from the program.

Pocan referred to two reports about problems with that program released last year by a nonprofit advocacy group, the Network for Public Education, which was co-founded by education historian and public schools advocate Diane Ravitch.

One report said the program had wasted up to $1 billion on charter schools that never opened, or opened and then closed because of poor management or other reasons. The other report focused on hundreds of millions of dollars spent on charter schools that got federal funding but never opened. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2019/03/25/report-us-government-wasted-up-billion-charter-schools-still-fails-adequately-monitor-grants/)

When Pocan referred to the 2019 reports, DeVos said they had been “debunked,” which Pocan noted was not true.

She also essentially denied there were problems with the program, saying the percentage of charter schools that received federal funding and closed was tiny. She instead attributed the assertions to “propaganda from an individual who has it in for charter schools.” (It is unclear to whom she was referring. But if she meant Ravitch, whom she has criticized before, she may not have known that who does indeed oppose charter schools — did not write the reports, which you can read about here and here.)

As it turns out, some of the facts she disputed from the reports came from her own letter to Congress, an audit report of the Education Department’s Office of Inspector General, Texas newspapers and other reports from her department.

Pocan told DeVos the Texas-based IDEA charter school chain had received more than $200 million from the federal Charter Schools Program. He then noted that IDEA had planned to spend millions of dollars to lease a private jet before backing off following bad publicity, and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars for luxury box seats at San Antonio Spurs games. He also mentioned that IDEA board members were selling and brokering property to the charter chain they governed. (Tom Torkelson, chief executive of IDEA, publicly apologized for “really dumb and unhelpful” financial decisions.)

Pocan asked DeVos if she thought charter schools that receive federal funding should be allowed to use that money to purchase private jets, and she responded by saying it was a “hypothetical question” and that “there is no funding going to charter schools that would even address something like that.”

Actually, it was not hypothetical. The excesses of the IDEA charter chain described by Pocan were reported in the Houston Chronicle, the Texas Monitor and other news organizations and occurred during the years the chain was receiving grants from the federal Charter Schools Program.

In 2017, DeVos’s Education Department gave IDEA a grant of $67.2 million — even though it had not completed two other five-year grants. The next year, the department gave IDEA another grant for nearly $117 million.

Pocan continued, saying “the same group” — IDEA — had given incomplete and inaccurate information to the department during a three-year period. DeVos responded by saying, “Everything you are citing is debunked, ridiculous.” Pocan was citing an audit report by DeVos’s own Office of Inspector General.

At one point, DeVos circled back to the Network for Public Education reports and added that “the report that you referenced has been totally debunked as propaganda, fewer than 2 percent of schools didn’t open.” Later in the conversation with Pocan, she dropped that percentage to 1.5 percent.

That percentage was wildly different from the one included in a letter she wrote to Congress on June 28, 2019. That letter, signed by DeVos, states: “Since 2001, of the 5,265 charter schools that have received funding through a State entity or directly from the Department, 634 did not open and are unlikely to open in the future.”

If you do the math, you will come up with 12 percent. The two Network for Public Education reports came up with a similar percentage — a little over 11 percent.

Throughout the discussion, DeVos denied that 40 percent of the charter schools funded by the Charter Schools Program either opened and then closed or never opened at all. She said the 40 percent figure “was nothing but propaganda.”

As noted above, in her letter to Congress, DeVos said 5,265 schools had received funding through Charter School Program grants.

According to the 2019 Charter School Program Overview (see slide 8), 3,138 charter schools funded by the Charter Schools Program during the same time period were open in 2016-2017. That means 2,127 schools never opened or closed — which represents 40.4 percent of all charters funded from active grants during those years.

Investigative journalist Jennifer Berkshire visited Texas to find out how the Trump-DeVos agenda of vouchers is being received. Not well, she found. In rural and suburban areas, parents are not eager to abandon their public schools.

She writes:

Keller, Texas—On the same night that President Trump invoked the specter of “failing government schools” in his State of the Union address, Texas Republican Giovanni Capriglione was working hard to establish his public school bona fides. Elected to the Texas House as part of the 2012 Tea Party wave, Capriglione reminded voters here in Keller, an affluent suburb of Fort Worth, that he was a product of public schools, his wife is too, and that his children attend them now. Grade by grade, he named his favorite teachers.

While Trump used his pulpit to make clear his administration’s contempt for public schools, Capriglione wooed the voters he hopes will send him back to the state legislature with calls for more generous school funding, less standardized testing, and more rigorous oversight of charter schools.

Why such disparate messaging?

In a word: elections. In 2018 Texas Democrats flipped 12 formerly Republican legislative seats, half in the fast-growing region around Dallas and Fort Worth known as the Metroplex. While the Texas version of the blue wave was fueled in part by enthusiasm for the Senate candidacy of Beto O’Rourke, Democrats also ran hard against what they characterized as the GOP’s antipathy toward public education. Voters ejected several school voucher advocates, while candidates who ran as supporters of public schools were rewarded. And while Trump is beloved among rural Texans, they are not fans of his signature education issue, “education freedom,” aka sending taxpayer funds to private and religious schools.

“Our rural communities are knit together by their public schools,” says Pastor Charles Johnson, head of the public education advocacy group Pastors for Texas Children. “It’s why they tend to oppose privatization, no matter who is pushing it.”

A similar dynamic is playing out in other key 2020 states. Even as Trump tries to lure back disaffected suburban moderates and hold on to his loyal rural supporters, his administration is peddling an education agenda that is increasingly under fire in states that are essential to his reelection bid. The deep divide between what such voters want for their schools and what Trump and state-level Republicans are offering presents an opportunity for Democrats to build on their 2018 gains, and perhaps even deny Trump a second term

Trouble may also be brewing in Ohio, she writes, where overzealous Republican legislators extended vouchers into suburban districts and are feeling a strong pushback.

A few days ago, the House Subcommittee that controls federal education appropriations invited Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to testify about her budget proposals, which seek to eliminate 29 federal programs and turn their funding over to the state as a block grant. At the same time, she wants to slash the Department’s funding. And…of course, she wants $5 billion for vouchers for private and religious schools, which are both demonstrably unpopular and ineffective.

This video clip shows Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wisconsin) questioning DeVos about the federal Charter Schools Program. Rep. Pocan relied on a report from the Network for Public Education to the nearly $1 billion in federal funds wasted on charter schools that either never opened or closed not long after opening.

He asked DeVos direct questions, questions that required a yes or no.

She evaded, she ducked, she weaved, she obfuscated. She refused to answer yes or no.

She dismissed the NPE report, Asleep at the Wheel, as “propaganda” that had been “debunked.” This was a lie. The data in the report came from the U.S. Department of Education and from DeVos’s own reports to Congress.

Pocan exposes two facts about DeVos. One, she plays fast and loose with facts. Two, she refuses to answer questions that are uncomfortable for her. We already know that she, unlike previous secretaries of education, actively dislikes public education. I humbly suggest that her contempt for public schools makes her unfit to be Secretary of Education.

Asleep at the Wheel:

Rep. Mark Pocan Questions Betsy DeVos on the Charter Schools Program

The House Subcommittee on Appropriations for Labor, Health, Human Services and Education opened hearings this morning, with Secretary DeVos as witness to testify about the Trump administration’s budget proposal. She. Wants to combine the funding for 29 programs and send the money to states as a block grant, to be used as they wish, she wants deep cuts in overall spending but a new $5 billion federal voucher program, which she calls “education freedom scholarships.” Charter school advocates were stunned to learn that the federal Charter Schools Program was one of the 29 that would disappear into a block grant.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro opened the hearing with this statement.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 27, 2020

CONTACT:

Will Serio: 202-225-3661

Chairwoman DeLauro Opening Remarks for House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Hearing with Secretary DeVos on the President’s Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Request

(As prepared for delivery)

Good morning, Secretary Devos. Welcome to the Subcommittee. It is our second budget hearing of the year. It is your fourth budget hearing with us. Today, we are examining the President’s Department of Education budget request for fiscal year 2021.

As I was reviewing the budget materials, Madame Secretary, this much was clear to me. You are seeking to privatize public education. But, I believe that is the wrong direction for our students and our country. Instead, we need to be moving towards expanding public policies like early childhood education that we know help students to succeed. We see this in other countries around the globe. They are not shrinking public support; they are expanding it.

I will get more into the consequences of the cuts that you are proposing. But, I want to start by examining your privatization philosophy, the false premise on which it is built, and the research it ignores.

Contrary to your claims, the nation’s public education system, which 90 percent of our children attend, has witnessed significant progress for all groups of students over the last 30 years. Average mathematics scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) have improved for 4th graders (by 13 percent) and 8th graders (by 7 percent). While overall reading improvements have been more modest, Black 4th graders’ scores improved by 6 percent and 8th graders’ by 3 percent. Hispanic 4th graders’ scores improved by 6 percent and 8th graders’ by 5 percent.

There is more to do to address the disparities in achievement. We know we face significant challenges in assisting the kids that come into our system in education districts where they experience poverty and exposure to violence, often resulting in trauma. But, the solution is not less resources, nor is it more privatization.

In fact, the administration’s own data has shown how privatization has let down students. The Trump administration evaluated the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program and found that vouchers had a statistically significant negative impact on the mathematics achievement of impacted students. In other words, more vouchers, lower math achievement. That is not a lone data point, either. Previous multi-sector studies using NAEP data have found that no student achievement scores for children in private schools were higher than those of children in public schools by any statistically significant degree.

So, your push to privatize public education is based on false premise that is not supported by data.

Its consequences would be to undermine the education of students in nearly every state, particularly for vulnerable students in high-need regions, including rural parts of our country.

• You would end career and college readiness for 560,000 low-income, middle school students across 45 states by eliminating the highly competitive grant program known as GEAR UP (-$365 million).

• You would endanger academic tutoring, personal counseling, and other programs for 800,000 students in sixth grade by slashing TRIO programs by $140 million. TRIO serves low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities, helping them graduate from college.

• You would endanger education access for children experiencing homelessness by eliminating the Education for Homeless Children and Youth program (-$102 million). This funding is desperately needed. In the 2016-2017 school year, more than 1.3 million enrolled children had experienced homelessness at some point in the past 3 years, an increase of 7 percent from 2014-2015.

• You would endanger youth literacy as well as potentially increase class size and undermine efforts to support diverse teachers by eliminating the main program — Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants which we increased for the first time in many years (-$2.1 billion).

• You would potentially put higher education out of the financial grasp of students by flat funding the Pell Grant ($6,345). 40 percent of undergraduate students or 7 million students rely on Pell Grants to afford higher education. But while Pell covered 79 percent of the average costs of tuition, fees, room, and board at a four-year public institution in 1975, it covers only 29 percent today. Our students cannot afford for us to stand pat like this.

• And, finally, your budget would risk exacerbating the financial challenges of under-resourced rural districts by converting rural formula grants into the block grant. These districts already struggle with lower student populations and higher transportation costs and your move to undermine their funding in this way is unacceptable.

With all of this, let me say, it is not going to happen.

I am supportive of the recognition of I-D-E-A State grants ($100 million proposed increase) and career and technical education, ($680 million proposed increase) for CTE State grants. Although I am disappointed that Adult Education State Grants are left with level funding. I plan to ask you that about later.

You have also once again requested an increase for student loan servicing. We included new reforms in the fiscal year 2020 bill to help us conduct more oversight and ensure borrowers are getting the help they need. Many of these ideas stemmed from an oversight hearing that this Subcommittee held last year. To be direct, I will need to see how the Department implements the new requirements as I review your request for next year.

And, with regard to Charter Schools, there is a place for them. They have a role in the education system. However, we have moved in the direction of creating a parallel education system. Concerns remain around issues of accountability and transparency, which to this point they have not been forthcoming. As I have said again and again, I believe Charter Schools ought to be held to the same rigor. And, where they fail, we need to know about it.

To close, Madame Secretary, you are clearly seeking to privatize public education. I hope that I have been clear that we are not going to do that. Because doing so ignores the research indicating the gains we have made, ignores the many areas private education shortchanges students, ignores the very reason the federal government has needed to be involved in education as so powerfully indicated with Brown vs. Board of Education, and ignores the spirit and values of this country. No, instead, we need to be expanding public policies that boost education attainment, not restricting or reducing them.

So, I look forward to our discussion today. Now, let me turn to my colleague, the Ranking Member from Oklahoma Tom Cole. Mr. Cole?

###

delauro.house.gov