Manchin maintains opposition as DeVos vote draws near
By Amanda Mangan, WV MetroNews
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A vote could come Tuesday in the U.S. Senate on the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as education secretary and that vote could be 50-50 split just like West Virginia’s U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito.
Manchin said on Potomac Highlands Today on MetroNews affiliate WKLP DeVos does not understand the public school system because she has never been a part of it.
“She attended private school as a child herself and all her children have been private schooled or home schooled. And she just does not understand that the public school system in rural America and West Virginia is more than reading, writing and arithmetic,” Manchin said.
There’s much more at public schools in rural areas than teaching the basics, Manchin said.
“It might be nutrition, the kids get their health care there, it’s so much more,” Manchin said.
There were protests over the weekend in West Virginia about DeVos. Several dozen people lined the streets of downtown Charleston urging Capito to vote no. Her office released the following statement:
“As my voting record indicates, I do not agree with Mrs. DeVos on every issue. However, I do believe she is a passionate advocate for children and learning, and she will work hard to improve education for all students across West Virginia and the nation.
“Congress acted in a bipartisan way when it passed the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 to shift decision making authority away from federal officials in Washington and back to states, local officials, teachers and parents. I am confident Mrs. DeVos will keep the promise she made during the confirmation process to comply with this law. Mrs. DeVos has also provided assurances that she will not impose a school choice or voucher program on any state or school district, sharing my belief that such a mandate should not be required by the federal government.”
Vice President Mike Pence may be called on to break a 50-50 when the confirmation vote comes.