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Devos Dodges Toughest Questions About Public School Plans

Republican philanthropist Betsy DeVos pledged Tuesday that she would be “a strong advocate for great public schools,” if confirmed as Donald Trump’s Education secretary.

But when pressed by Democrats, she wouldn’t commit to keeping federal funding intact for traditional public schools.

And while she was eloquent about how low-income families deserve some of the same choices to educate their kids as the affluent, she dodged Democrats’ toughest questions about how — or even if — she would protect traditional public schools. Senate Democrats decried her lack of conventional educational experience, and repeatedly cried foul that Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) limited their questions to one round of five minutes each.

DeVos also stumbled when asked about enforcing federal special education law, eliciting gasps in the overflow room when she suggested leaving enforcement decisions up to the states.

None of it was enough to derail a confirmation vote, especially since DeVos’ views on expanding educational opportunities and local control are shared by many Republicans.