- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 14, 2017

President Trump took a victory lap with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday, saying her confirmation after “a very unfair trial” in the Senate will benefit students nationwide by expanding school choice.

“I want to congratulate you on having gone through a very tough trial, and a very unfair trial, and you won,” the president told Mrs. DeVos during a White House meeting. “There’s something very nice about that. The real winner will be the children … of this country.”

The Senate confirmed Mrs. DeVos, a school choice advocate, last week by a vote of 51-50, with Vice President Mike Pence providing the historic tie-breaking vote. Democrats and teachers’ unions were vehemently opposed to her nomination.

Mrs. DeVos noted that the attendees at the White House meeting represented “traditional public schools, charter public schools, home schools, private schools — a range of choices.”

“We’re eager to listen and learn from you, your ideas for how we can ensure that all of our kids have an equal opportunity for a high quality, great education,” she told them.

The president said his administration will expand educational opportunities, especially for minority students.

“Millions of poor, disadvantaged students are trapped children in failing schools,” Mr. Trump said. “It really is a crisis in education. We’re going to change it around, especially for the African-American communities. I want every single disadvantaged child in America, no matter what their background or where they live, to have a choice about where they go to school.”

He said charter schools in particular “have demonstrated amazing gains and results.”

“We want to do that on a large-scale basis,” Mr. Trump said.

The president said better educational opportunities will help more students find better-paying jobs after graduation. He said he’ll host more business executives soon for more announcements about creating new jobs in the U.S.

“I have meetings next week with four or five different companies, big ones that are going to bring massive numbers of jobs back,” Mr. Trump said. “We can never lose sight of the connection between education and jobs.”

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