State Politics

Republicans invite DeVos to North Carolina for advice on expanding school choice

Education Secretary DeVos: I will be an advocate for all great schools

President-elect Donald Trump's pick for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, faced many questions during her confirmation hearing. She pledged to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee that she would not seek to dismantle public s
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President-elect Donald Trump's pick for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, faced many questions during her confirmation hearing. She pledged to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee that she would not seek to dismantle public s

The state Republican Party is celebrating Betsy DeVos becoming U.S. Education secretary, and has sent a public invitation for her to visit the Tar Heel state.

DeVos has been the most controversial of President Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees so far. Opponents flooded U.S. senators’ offices with calls, and some North Carolina residents are demanding to know why U.S. Sens. Thom Tillis and Richard Burr voted for her.

DeVos is a supporter of vouchers and charter schools, stances that Tillis praised in supporting her. Burr defended her record of philanthropy.

Detractors question her commitment to public education. She struggled to answer questions at times during her confirmation hearing.

The NC GOP praised DeVos in a press release for her commitment to school choice, and invited her to North Carolina to share ideas.

“As leaders in the school choice movement, we would be thrilled to host Secretary DeVos at the earliest possible time. We look forward to showing her North Carolina's success, and examine ways how we can expand school choice with a now willing federal government,” state GOP Chairman Robin Hayes said in a statement.

State Democrats probably won’t be cohosting the DeVos reception. NC Democratic Party Chairwoman Patsy Keever said DeVos has spent her career attacking public education and is “clearly the wrong person for the job” running the U.S. Department of Education.

Vice President Mike Pence’s vote was needed to break a Senate tie, to get DeVos confirmed by a 51-50 vote.

Lynn Bonner: 919-829-4821, @Lynn_Bonner

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