Oregon lawmakers speak out against Trump education pick - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon lawmakers speak out against Trump education pick

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Oregon representatives in congress gathered in downtown Portland Friday to tell the public why they oppose President Trump's choice to head the Department of Education.

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, along with Rep. Earl Blumenauer and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, came together to talk about Betsy DeVos, Trump's choice for Secretary of Education.

In essence, they say choosing DeVos to lead the education department would hurt Oregon students and schools.  They also showed nearly one and a half million petition signatures they received from concerned Americans who have expressed their concern and opposition to the nomination of DeVos.

She sparked national alarm after her confirmation hearing in which she expressed her support for defunding public schools, appeared unfamiliar with basic education policy and stated that it was best left to the states whether publicly funded schools must allow federal civil rights laws that protect students with disabilities.

“With her, we have a nominee who is uniquely unqualified. In fact, she has been dedicated to tearing apart the foundations for successful public schools,” Merkley said Friday. ”I must say many people on Capitol Hill doubt she ever would have been nominated had she not donated $200 million to the Republican party.”

DeVos, a Michigan billionaire, has lobbied for decades to expand charter schools and taxpayer-funded vouchers for private and religious schools. She has no professional experience in public schools, never attended public schools nor sent her own children to public schools. She also has not held public office before.

Merkley said he is having conversations with his colleagues on both sides of the aisle about what came to light during her hearing and that another nominee will be found.

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