Betsy DeVos

Betsy DeVos More Dangerous Than Grizzly Bears: Sen. Kamala Harris

Betsy DeVos has not demonstrated “basic competency” in issues related to children, according to Sen. Kamala Harris. Harris said that U.S. President Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education does not have basic knowledge about how American schools operate. The Democratic senator from California made an effort on Monday night to stop DeVos’ nomination from getting the confirmation.

Kamala Harris
California Attorney General Kamala Harris looks over notes before delivering a speech during a Safer Internet Day event at Facebook headquarters on February 10, 2015 in Menlo Park, California. [Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]

According to the California senator, DeVos will be unable to uphold the law since she does not understand the law in the first place. Harris reacted to DeVos’ confirmation hearing and said the nominee had no clue about the difference between two basic modes of testing children. The Republican fundraiser from Michigan earlier seemed unaware of the difference between measuring student growth and student proficiency. These two methods are used to evaluate how much a student is learning.

Betsy DeVos was slammed by Harris, as she was not ready to commit to make sure that Title IX would be enforced. Title IX is meant to stop the gender discrimination in studies. DeVos’s confirmation hearing did not make a great impression about her knowledge educational laws. She seems unaware of IDEA, aka the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which ensures that students with special needs get appropriate public education. Harris was critical about DeVos not having any knowledge about the special education law. The Democratic senator made the comments during a 24-hour session to debate DeVos’ nomination.

Betsy DeVos is one of the most controversial choices Trump has made. Her nomination for the top post in education faces sharp criticism, especially from the Democrats. During her career as a school choice activist, DeVos dealt with school vouchers to allow students to attend private schools with the help of tax money. DeVos was highly criticized when she said districts and states should decide if schools needed guns. According to her, Montana schools might need a gun for protection against grizzly bears. According to Harris, DeVos is a “far greater threat to public education” than the beast, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Betsy DeVos
Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee member Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) questions Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to be the next Secretary of Education, during her confirmation hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill January 17, 2017 in Washington, D.C. [Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]

DeVos’ nomination not only suffered rejection from the Democrats but found opposition among the Republicans as well. Democrats declared that their vote against DeVos’ nomination was unanimous. Two Republican senators earlier announced that they were not going to support the confirmation of DeVos’ nomination. This means DeVos is likely to need Vice-President Mike Pence’s vote to win a tie-breaker for her.

Harris was not the only one to criticize Donald Trump for nominating Betsy DeVos for the job. Colorado Senator Michael Bennet said the nomination was “an insult to schoolchildren and their families.” He slammed the nominee’s “dogmatic approach.” According to him, DeVos has not shown commitment to equity. She is rather committed to competition and free-market choice, he said.

Betsy DeVos is expected to know about the fate of the nomination around noon EST on Tuesday.

[Featured Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]

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