Federal News in Brief

Sen. Franken, LGBT Student Advocate and DeVos Critic, Will Resign

By Andrew Ujifusa — December 12, 2017 1 min read

U.S. Sen. Al Franken, a Minnesota Democrat and a member of the Senate education committee, announced last week that he will be stepping down in the coming weeks, in the face of allegations that he sexually harassed multiple women.

A majority of the Senate Democratic caucus earlier in the week called on Franken to step aside.

During his time in the Senate and on the education committee, Franken developed a reputation as a vocal supporter of LGBT student rights. He backed the Obama administration’s move in 2016 to tell schools through guidance that transgender students’ access to locker rooms and restrooms matching their gender identities was covered by Title IX. And he sought to shield LGBT students from bullying.

Franken also sparred with U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos during her confirmation hearing, questioning her understanding of the concepts of academic progress and growth. Like every Senate Democrat, he voted against her confirmation and called her unqualified for the job.

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A version of this article appeared in the December 13, 2017 edition of Education Week as Sen. Franken, LGBT Student Advocate and DeVos Critic, Will Resign

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