- The Washington Times - Monday, January 30, 2017

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp announced Monday that she plans to vote against President Trump’s pick for education secretary.

Ms. Heitkamp, a Democrat who is up for re-election in 2018 in North Dakota, which Mr. Trump handily won in the November election, said that 95 percent of the 1,400 people that contacted her opposed the nomination of Betsy DeVos, while 3 percent supported her, and 2 percent had no say.

“After watching the U.S. Senate hearing on Ms. DeVos‘ nomination, it was clear that she doesn’t understand the importance of public schools — highlighting her preference for private schools and her work to accomplish that goal by taking public funds away from public schools,” she said in a statement. “She showed her severe lack of knowledge about rural public schools, which represent about one-third of public schools nationwide. And she doesn’t have a grasp of basic education policy or laws supporting students with disabilities, yet she wants to run the federal agency overseeing the education of our kids.”

“Simply, we need an education secretary who puts students first and will work to strengthen public school education, not someone who would privatize it as Betsy DeVos would,” she said.

Ms. DeVos has been praised by school choice advocates — though Democrats panned her performance this month in her confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

The committee is expected to take up Ms. Devos‘ nomination Tuesday.

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