WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran met with Betsy DeVos, nominee for Secretary of Education, in his Washington, D.C. office Wednesday and issued the following statement indicating his intention to support her confirmation:
“I have had a number of serious concerns about Betsy DeVos’ nomination to be our next Secretary of Education. Those concerns have been echoed by Kansas educators and parents I have met with and heard from over the last several weeks. During our meeting today, I laid out several of my top concerns – namely, the threat of a federally-mandated voucher program in our state, potentially insufficient enforcement and funding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and more broadly, my desire to make certain that she shares my view about the limited role the federal government should play in education. Helping one group of students to find more opportunity should not come at the price of reducing the benefits of other students. High-performing schools – be they rural, urban or suburban – should determine how to best address their community’s unique educational needs rather than conform to broad, one-size-fits-all standards issued at the federal level, and I made that clear to her.
“Ms. DeVos confirmed to me that there will be no federally-mandated voucher program in the state of Kansas. She reassured me that the state, local districts and school boards will retain their important role in administering our schools and determining our students’ curriculum. She shares my interest in pursuing full funding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to ensure that our students with disabilities have the opportunity to receive a quality education and pursue their goals. And lastly, she agrees that we must return control over our students’ education to the state and local levels by implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act as Congress intended.
“Though I began our meeting unconvinced, I now expect to support her nomination knowing that, as Secretary of Education, Ms. DeVos will be working to make certain that all Kansas students are better off and that educational decisions are made by those who understand the unique needs of Kansas kids: educators, administrators and parents at the local level.”