DeVos testifies if federal law will apply to all types of schools


Education Secretary Betsy Devos told the Senate Tuesday that any school receiving federal funds will be subject to federal law.

At the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies’ hearing on President Trump’s proposed budget for the Education Department, DeVos was pressed on whether private schools that indirectly receive federal funds through DeVos’ voucher program would be held accountable for enforcing anti-discrimination legislation.

DeVos assured the subcommittee that no matter the type of school, those receiving federal funds will operate under federal law. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash) wanted more clarity, prompting DeVos to strengthen her answer: “Schools that receive federal funds must follow federal law. Period.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) reminded DeVos that federal law in some areas, such as discrimination against students in the LGBT community, isn’t clear cut.

“On areas where the law is unsettled, this department is not going to be issuing decrees. That is a matter for Congress and the courts to settle.”

“Is discrimination going to be allowed or not allowed under your understanding?” he pushed after that response.

“I’m going back to what I said earlier,” DeVos replied. She hadn’t previously ruled out giving federal funds to schools that discriminate.

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