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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida GOP leaders back Betsy DeVos for U.S. Education secretary



With Betsy DeVos' U.S. Senate confirmation hearing on tap today, some notable Florida conservatives have unsurprisingly put their backing behind the billionaire charter school and voucher advocate to become the federal education secretary.

Former Gov. Jeb Bush, a key early promoter of charters and vouchers, penned a piece in USA Today calling Donald Trump's choice "inspired."

"Betsy will fight hard to remove the biggest barriers to improving student achievement in America and give millions of young people the opportunity to rise," Bush wrote of DeVos, who has served on his foundation boards.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran, along with speaker-elect Jose Oliva and Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, meanwhile signed a letter along with officials from all 49 other states supporting the nomination.

"Her support for an all-of-the-above approach to K-12 education - from charter schools, to public, private and online education - defines the school choice movement that has helped countless children across many of our states," the letter states. "By advancing these innovative solutions from the Department of Education, Betsy DeVos will put children first and empower not only states to lead the way in making critical education decisions, but also empower parents to choose what type of education is best for their children."

The hearing had been postponed for a week, as public education activists and teacher unions rallied and lobbied against DeVos, who they deemed an "ideological extremist." It's scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. 

[Last modified: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 11:42am]


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