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House Democrats to scrutinize Betsy DeVos

New York Teacher

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will face a new level of oversight this year with Democrats taking over the House of Representatives from Republicans who were friendlier to her privatization agenda. The House and its committees possess the authority to issue subpoenas and call hearings.

Rep. Bobby Scott of Virginia will be the top Democrat on the education committee, and he intends to investigate whether DeVos’ Education Department is enforcing federal rules requiring states to resolve racial disparities in student achievement.

House Democrats are also likely to look into DeVos’ attempts to roll back regulations protecting students from predatory for-profit colleges such as the now-defunct Corinthian Colleges and ITT Technical Institute chains. DeVos has sought to make it harder for defrauded students to get loan forgiveness and has reestablished an accrediting group known for lax oversight.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, a Democrat overseeing the education budget, said, “We are going to hold Secretary DeVos accountable for, in so many ways, failing to uphold federal protections for our students.”

Associated Press, Jan. 21