Blog

Your Education Road Map

Politics K-12®

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. Read more from this blog.

Federal

Senate Education Panel Delays Betsy DeVos’ Confirmation Hearing

By Alyson Klein — January 10, 2017 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

UPDATED

The U.S. Senate Health, Educaton, Labor, and Pensions Committee has rescheduled a confirmation hearing for President-elect Donald J. Trump’s pick to lead the Education Department, Betsy DeVos.

The hearing, which was originally slated for Wednesday morning, has been moved to Tuesday, Jan. 17, at 5 p.m., according to a statement sent late Monday by the panel’s chairman, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the top Democrat.

“At the request of the Senate leadership to accommodate the Senate schedule, we have agreed to move the nomination hearing of Betsy DeVos,” the pair wrote.

The move comes just days after Murray and other Democrats had requested that the committee delay DeVos’ hearing until after she is cleared by the Office of Government Ethics. DeVos, a billionaire GOP donor and school choice advocate, is one of several Trump nominees who have not yet received a sign-off from the OGE.

“Senator Murray is hopeful that this additional time will allow Ms. DeVos to complete the required ethics paperwork and in time for the Office of Government Ethics to submit it to the HELP Committee before her hearing, just as every single one of President Obama’s nominees did and as Leader McConnell demanded eight years ago,” an aide to Murray said.

Separately, an Alexander aide said, “This will not change our plans to vote on the nomination of Betsy DeVos in the [education] committee on Tuesday, January 24th.” The aide added, “Betsy DeVos is an outstanding nominee who has complied with all of the committee’s requirements and no one doubts that she will be confirmed as Education Secretary. This hearing delay is simply to accommodate the Senate schedule.”

On Tuesday, Alexander said DeVos’ hearing was delayed at the request of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Asked if he knew of any problems with the paperwork DeVos submitted to the Office of Government Ethics, Alexander said, “I know of none.”

The ethics office recently sent a letter to Murray saying that nominees should be required to obtain its certification prior to their confirmation hearings, partly to ensure that they will cooperate with the office.

“That leverage is greatly diminished if a hearing is held prior to OGE’s preclearance and subsequent certification,” the letter reads in part. The letter also notes that it can take months to clear very wealthy individuals through the ethics process.

Matt Frendewey, a spokesman for the American Federation for Children, which DeVos chaired until recently, said, “Betsy turned in her paperwork to the Office Government Ethics (OGE) nearly a month ago, she turned in her paperwork to the Senate a day early. She’s ready to have a conversation about making education better any day of the week, whether it is tomorrow or this coming Tuesday.”

DeVos’ nomination has earned plaudits from some GOP policymakers and school choice advocates, but it’s also triggered serious opposition from teachers’ unions, civil rights organizations, and others. More here.


Follow us on Twitter at @PoliticsK12.

Related Tags:

Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attendance Awareness Month: The Research Behind Effective Interventions
More than a year has passed since American schools were abruptly closed to halt the spread of COVID-19. Many children have been out of regular school for most, or even all, of that time. Some
Content provided by AllHere
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Federal White House Launches Hispanic Education Initiative Led by Miguel Cardona
President Joe Biden said his administration intends to address the "systemic causes" of educational disparities faced by Hispanic students.
2 min read
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona writes down and draws positive affirmations on poster board with students during his visit to P.S. 5 Port Morris, a Bronx elementary school, Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021 in New York.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona visits students in New York City at P.S. 5 Port Morris, a Bronx elementary school in the Bronx last month.
Brittainy Newman/AP
Federal Feds Add Florida to List of States Under Investigation Over Restrictions on Mask Mandates
The Education Department told the state Sept. 10 it will probe whether its mask rule is violating the rights of students with disabilities.
3 min read
Surrounded by lawmakers, Florida Gov.Ron DeSantis speaks at the end of a legislative session on April 30, 2021, in Tallahassee, Fla.
Surrounded by lawmakers, Florida Gov.Ron DeSantis speaks at the end of a legislative session on April 30, 2021, in Tallahassee, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee/AP
Federal How Biden Will Mandate Teacher Vaccines, Testing in Some States That Don't Require Them
President Joe Biden's COVID-19 plan will create new teacher vaccination and testing requirements in some states through worker safety rules.
4 min read
Nurse Sara Muela, left, administers the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to educator Rebecca Titus at a vaccination site setup for teachers and school staff at the Berks County Intermediate Unit in Reading, Pa., on March 15, 2021.
Nurse Sara Muela administers a COVID-19 vaccine to educator Rebecca Titus at a vaccination site for at the Berks County Intermediate Unit in Reading, Pa.
Matt Rourke/AP
Federal Biden Pushes Schools to Expand COVID-19 Testing, Get More Teachers Vaccinated
President Joe Biden set teacher vaccine requirements for federally operated schools as part of a new effort to drive down COVID's spread.
7 min read
President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room at the White House, Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, in Washington. Biden is announcing sweeping new federal vaccine requirements affecting as many as 100 million Americans in an all-out effort to increase COVID-19 vaccinations and curb the surging delta variant.
President Joe Biden in a speech from the White House announces sweeping new federal vaccine requirements and other efforts in an renewed effort to stem the COVID-19 pandemic.
Andrew Harnik/AP