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New Leader of School Choice Caucus in Congress Hails From DeVos’ Home State

By Andrew Ujifusa — June 05, 2018 1 min read
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A rookie Republican lawmaker from Michigan will soon gain new prominence in the push to expand school choice on Capitol Hill.

Rep. Paul Mitchell, R-Mich., will serve as co-chairman of the Congressional School Choice Caucus on the House side with Rep. Luke Messer, R-Ind., the caucus’ current chairman in the House, through the end of this year. (Messer will leave Congress at the start of next year, having made an unsuccessful run to be the Republican nominee to challenge Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., in November.) Mitchell’s already a member of the choice caucus.

“Parents should have the right to choose which educational model works best for their children. The needs of individual families and children are unique, and they should have increased access to schools that have adapted to best serve them,” Mitchell said in a statement announcing that he will co-chair the caucus.

Mitchell was first elected in 2016 to represent Michigan’s 10th District in the House. He’s quickly become a big fan of National School Choice Week, which includes events to promote the issue in Washington. He promoted his attendance at last year’s event on Capitol Hill, after cutting a video about school choice and School Choice Week in 2017:

And in case you’re wondering, Mitchell received contributions from Betsy DeVos—before she became education secretary—as well as from other members of the DeVos family during his successful House campaign in 2016, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics. DeVos is a Michigan native.

Elsewhere, Mitchell has emphasized homeless children as well as those in foster care. Last month, he introduced legislation to amend TRIO, which supports students from disadvantaged backgrounds, to make services for those two groups of students a priority for TRIO programs.

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., leads the choice caucus in the Senate.

Photo: Rep. Paul Mitchell, R-Mich., in a 2013 photo before he was elected to Congress. (David Eggert/AP)

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