In rare bipartisan show, Congress rejects Betsy DeVos’ education agenda
In a rebuff of the Education Department’s leader, Congress’ spending bill diverged from DeVos’ privatized
CHARLIE MAY03.22.2018•2:44 PM
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Congress are on completely different pages when it comes to the country's education agenda.
For the second consecutive year, Congress has rejected funding for DeVos' key policy proposals, which most notably included reduced federal funding for public schools and an effort to spend $1 billion promoting school-choice programs.
DeVos had planned to slash the Department of Education's budget by $3.6 billion (5 percent), but on Wednesday night, Congress included a $3.9 billion increase to the department in the massive $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill, according to The Washington Post. The legislation must be passed by midnight on Friday in order to keep the government running.
There was no funding included for the school-choice proposals made by DeVos.
"After more than a year on the job, I would have hoped Secretary DeVos would have learned by now that her extreme ideas to privatize our nation’s public schools and dismantle the Department of Education do not have support among parents or in Congress, but unfortunately that does not seem to be the case," said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., according to the Post.
She added, "I’m proud to have worked with Republicans in Congress to flatly reject these ideas, and increase funding for programs Secretary DeVos tried to cut, including K-12 education, civil rights protections, college affordability, and more."
Murray serves as a ranking Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
Indeed, DeVos' vision for the department was vastly different than what Congress had in mind, and several programs she intended to eliminate directly contradicted what made it into the bill.