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ESSA. Congress. State chiefs. School spending. Elections. Education Week reporters keep watch on education policy and politics in the nation’s capital and in the states.

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Sen. Gillibrand, Who Called DeVos the ‘Wrong Choice,’ Seeks White House

By Andrew Ujifusa — January 16, 2019 1 min read

The newest Democrat to enter the 2020 presidential race is a big fan of computer science—but not Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., announced that she would seek the presidency on Tuesday. The junior senator from the Empire State doesn’t have a particularly extensive track record on K-12 education, but she’s introduced a few bills that signal her priorities. The short version? She’s looking beyond English/language arts and math.

In 2017, Gillibrand introduced the Computer Science Career Education Act, which would create four- and six-year federal grants for computer science programs. And she backed the SHOP Act, which aims to bolster career and technical education by providing support to “maker spaces” and hands-on learning opportunities.

Like virtually all Democrats, Gillibrand is a big critic of DeVos. During DeVos’ confirmation process two years ago, Gillibrand said DeVos was the “wrong choice” because she was not for public education and safe schools. And she has also blasted the changes DeVos has proposed for Title IX regarding sexual assault at K-12 schools and college campuses.

Gillibrand also voted for the Every Student Succeeds Act in 2015.

We recently profiled Democratic presidential hopefuls including Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, former secretary of housing and urban development Julian Castro, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii. And we wrote about Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., when he declared in 2017.

Click here to see our 2020 cheat sheet of Democratic contenders.

Photo: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)


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