DeVos Confirmation Hearing

The U.S. Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Tuesday held a confirmation hearing for President-elect Trump's nominee for Education Secretary.

In the three and a half hour hearing, nominee Betsy DeVos revealed very little about how she intends to govern an agency that oversees thousands of colleges and universities and the trillions of dollars in loans and grants that help keep their doors open, The Washington Post reported.

While K-12 policies took center stage, senators asked a few questions regarding DeVos's stance on key regulations and the role of the government in student lending and received vague, noncommittal answers. DeVos would not commit to maintaining the Education Department's heightened enforcement of Title IX to fight campus sexual assault or to enforcing the agency's controversial gainful employment rule. She also said, incorrectly, that student debt had ballooned by 980 percent during the last eight years. The actual figure is closer to 124 percent between 2008 and 2016.

Additionally, DeVos’s prepared remarks offered little insight into her approach for higher education. She acknowledged the problem of high volumes of student loan debt but did not propose a solution. She also added that career education programs should not be viewed as a "fallback" for students who do not succeed in college but should instead be viewed as one of a number of "pathways" to postsecondary education.

Despite pushback from Senate Democrats over the nominee's lack of experience and the unfinished ethics review of the candidate's financial investments and possible conflicts of interest, DeVos is still likely to be confirmed in the Republican-controlled Senate. The HELP committee could vote on sending her nomination to the full Senate for confirmation as soon as next week if the details of her federal ethics compliance are finalized, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported.


Related Links

The Washington Post

The Chronicle of Higher Education