Today is the Senate confirmation hearing for President-elect Trump's Secretary of Education nominee, Betsy DeVos.
What exactly does the Secretary of Education do? He or she oversees the U.S. Department of Education and acts as the principal adviser to the President on federal policies, programs, and activities related to K-12 and higher education in the United States. (Fun fact: the Secretary of Education is also 15th in the line of succession.)
The Department's responsibilities are primarily to "establish policy for, administer, and coordinate most federal funding assistance to education; collect data on US schools; and to enforce federal educational laws regarding privacy and civil rights." Because the education system in the United States is decentralized, the Dept. does not establish schools, determine and develop curricula, or set requirements for enrollment and graduation.
Read more about the modern roles of the Secretary and Department of Education and what the DeVos appointment might mean for schools and students.
The Department of Education is a critical body to ensure we have equity and fairness in our schools. That's why we'll be listening and watching carefully today, and in the future, to ensure that the Department of Education is working for all children.
Here is our official statement about the hearings:
"Stand for Children, which supports families advocating for equal educational opportunity in 11 states, passionately believes that all students – and especially the most vulnerable – are best served by policies and programs that hold all schools accountable for serving students well, whether district-managed or public charter.
Stand for Children has fought for over 20 years for funding for public schools, holding all schools that receive public funding accountable for serving students well, and ensuring that all students feel safe in every classroom. As vetting begins for the U.S. Secretary of Education, we urge congressional members to ensure due diligence and questioning around these issues we know to be critical in ensuring a more equitable education system that serves low-income and our most vulnerable students the best.
Stand for Children will remain consistent and vocal in calling on Ms. DeVos and the President-elect to bolster high-quality public schools, protecting necessary funding, and to take action to protect the safety and dignity of all students, including by maintaining the vital federal role enforcing civil rights laws."