Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., will lead the House education committee during the next session of Congress, the committee announced Friday.
Foxx will replace Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., who is retiring at the end of this session of Congress.
In a statement, Foxx said she is committed to ensuring the committee will “work towards fostering the best opportunities for students,” as well as success for workers and employers. She announced she would seek to lead the committee last month, the day after Donald Trump was elected president.
“At all times, we will strive in our service to hold government institutions to the highest standards of accountability and transparency, with a constant eye towards eliminating waste and inefficiency,” Foxx said. “Our creative, ambitious pursuit of good policy will be guided by the Constitution with solutions centered on securing and protecting access to high-quality education and safe and productive workplaces for all Americans.”
In his own statement, Kline said Foxx had earned the chairmanship “through many years of dedicated public service.”
Foxx helped steer a reauthorization of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act through Congress in 2014. But it’s unclear whether she can establish the same kind of reputation as Kline, who was a primary architect of the Every Student Succeeds Act and reached across the aisle on several issues, including on bills dealing with juvenile justice and career and technical education that received overwhelming bipartisan support.
In interviews with Education Week this year, Foxx said she doesn’t really think the federal government should be involved in education policy at all, but recognized that achieving this goal isn’t realistic at the moment. She’s a forceful critic of how, in her view, President Barack Obama’s administration has overstepped its authority and ignored congressional prerogatives. And she’s a budget hawk who talks frequently about using taxpayer dollars wisely.
Foxx is also a fan of ESSA, in part because she said it place less emphasis on testing overall.
Photo: Among the House of Representatives’ most conservative members, U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., co-chaired the Republican Party’s platform committee at its recent convention. (Cliff Owen/AP)