tv Education Secretary De Vos on Agency Priorities Part 1 CSPAN May 24, 2018 1:31pm-3:57pm EDT
thursday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, apple ceo tim cook, governor john kasich, governor kate brown and congressman luis gutierrez. and on friday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, jimmy carter, betsy devos, representative mark meadows, and atlanta mayor keisha lance bottoms, next week in prime time on c-span and c-span.org and on the free c-span radio app. earlier this week, education secretary betsy devos told lawmakers on capitol hill that she hoped the federal commission on school safety, a commission chaired by the secretary, would release a list of best practices by the end of this year. that comment came during a house education in the workforce committee hearing. up next, we'll show you that hearing in its entirety. it's about 3 1/2 hours.
committee on education in the workforce will come to order. thank you all for being here. it's a privilege to welcome secretary devos for her first appearance before the education workforce committee. i'm sure everyone here will make you feel welcome today, madam secretary. just a few days ago, we experienced yet another tragedy,
this time at santa fe high school in texas. madam secretary, i hope we'll hear from you today about the work of the commission on school safety. i know state and local school districts are struggling with how to address this issue, and i know parents and students are concerned and even scared. i hope today will be an opportunity for all of us to learn more about how the commission is developing recommendations for keeping our schools straight. safe. excuse me. as members are aware, this hearing was originally scheduled for december of last year but had to be postponed due to changes in the house schedule. i want to thank secretary devos for flexibility and for working with the committee to make today's hearing possible. given that secretary devos' primary responsibility is to faithfully carry out the laws enacted by congress, having this dialogue about the department's priorities and activities is critical. while the constitution is clear about our roles, it's less clear
about what we must do in terms of policy. as i reminded members of the committee and others on more than one occasion, there are 4,543 words in the constitution. not one of them is the word education or a synonym for it. our country was founded on the principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. it's been my experience that education, whatever form it may take, is the key to all of those pursuits. i believe on that point we can all agree. i also believe most of the members of this committee would agree that our constituents have strong feelings about the role of the federal government in education policy. they often tell us, the less from washington, the better. local control isn't just a matter of philosophy, it's a matter of practicality. we've seen that firsthand through the work we've done on workforce development. two examples that come to mind
are the workforce innovation and opportunity act and the strengthening career and technical education for the 21st century act. these pieces of legislation reflect the simple fact that local countntrol and input makel the difference in ensuring that educational pursuits yield real results for americans who just want to live successful lives. this committee took a similar approach to k-12 education with the every student succeeds act. we firmly believe states and school districts have an obligation to provide all students an excellent education and hold schools accountable for the performance of all students. but effective accountability must have buy-in from parents, teachers, and other state and local leaders. i applaud states and school districts for stepping up to this challenge under esa and the department for enforcing the law as written. secretary devos has made it clear she's also a believer in
local solutions for education challenges. it's parents and local school leaders, they know and trust, who are best equipped to make the decisions that will help improve education for all students. most of the time, it should be our job at the federal level to stay out of the way. sometimes there's a need for legislation. other times it's up to the department to take a step back and let state and local officials respond to the needs of their communities. for example, under the bush administration, the department issued seven economically significant rules. rules carried this designation when they would have an annual impact on the economy of 100 million or more or would have any material adverse effect on the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public's health, safety or state, local, tribal governments or communities, end quote. president obama's administration issued as many such rules in a
single year, and 27 in the department alone over the length of the administration. that was a nearly 300% increase in the regulatory burden on education alone. that's why it's crucial we, the committee of jurisdiction, have a strong relationship with the secretary of education. i expect today's hearing to be an important chapter in that relationship. madam secretary, it's been a pleasure getting to know you over the course of your time at the department. i know what drives you to show up to work every day is the same thing that drives each one of us -- ensuring all students have access to an excellent education. i applaud your willingness to take on this work in the face of the unprecedented vitriol you have faced. we look forward to hearing about what you've done so far to restore the department's authority to its rightful place and the creative ways you've
found to help open doors for americans looking for more opportunities in education. again, it's a pleasure to welcome you here today. i thank you for being here, and i now yield to ranking member scott for his opening remarks. >> thank you, madam chair, and welcome, secretary devos, and thank you for being here this morning. i want to begin by expressing by deepest condolences to the santa fe high school community over the tragedy that took the lives of eight students and two teachers on friday. this was the 16th school shooting this year, and we must pass some gun safety legislation to stop the violence that continues to devastate our schools and communities. secretary devos, i appreciate your support for the idea that congress should be holding hearings on solutions, keeping students safe from gun violence, and i'm disappointed that the majority has not heard our voices, nor have they heard the voices of students, parents, and
educators crying out for action. once again, i call on the majority to hold hearings immediately. the department of education bears a tremendous responsibility for implementing and enforcing federal laws covering nearly 18,200 school districts and more than 50 million public school students. every one of these students deserves an equitable, high-quality, public education. that's their right. that's the responsibility of the department of education, as well as congress, in partnership with states and localities to make it a reality. last week, we recognized the anniversary of the supreme court's unanimous and landmark ruling in brown v. board of education. 64 years ago, our nation's highest court declared the separate to be inherently unequal and ordered public education to desegregate in order to provide equitable learning opportunities for all students. unfortunately, this administration has relentlessly
chipped away at civil rights protections, including civil rights protections in education. in 2017, the department rescinded protections for transgendered students, rescinded obama-era reforms for student loan servicing process, which helps borrowers better manage their loans, suspended protections for student loan borrowers that enable them to have debts discharged when a school closes abruptly or defrauds its students, rolled back obama-era guidance and title nine protections against campus-based sexual assault, despite overwhelming public support for the guidance, and rolled back 72 documents that provide guidelines on special education. this year, the department has taken steps to erode protections for students of color with disabilities by proposing to delay the equity and the i.d.e.a. rule. this rule is set to go into effect this july and clarifies when school districts must take action to address racial
disparities and other ethnic disparities in overidentification, placement, and discipline of students of color with disabilities. the department has proposed to -- the proposed delay is overwhelmingly proposed by students, parents, teachers, civil rights advocates, and individuals with disabilities. most recently, the department's office of civil rights stopped investigating cases of systemic inequities that harm minority students generally and even reopen previously resolved cases concerning accessibility for students with disabilities. today is the first opportunity for members of this committee and the committee vested with the oversight jurisdiction of the department of education to ask about these issues. it is nearly a year and a half into this administration's tenure, and such a delay of oversight of the secretary of education is unprecedented in recent history, and it comes at a time when the need for meaningful oversight is greater than ever.
as the department works to implement the every student succeeds act, or essa, we have serious questions about the approval of state plans that disregard the performance of subgroups of students and violate the law. we have serious questions about proposed deregulatory agenda for the coming year that would undermine the tri-triad of states, accreditors and state oversight for integrity and higher education. we have questions of conflicts of interest within the administration and questions on the federal commission on school safety. you have vowed -- the secretary has vowed that it would be more than talk and we would take action to prevent future shootings. instead, we see some blaming school safety on civil rights and threatening to roll back protections of students with color and students with disabilities. so, we would ask the secretary about questions about publicly
signaling the intent to rescind the 2014 education and justice department school discipline guidance package promulgated during the obama administration. the guidance outlines how school districts can avoid racial disparities and discipline, especially regarding suspensions without jeopardizing school safety. rescinding that guidance would be particularly troubling in light of the findings recently of the gao that showed the discipline disparities aren't merely a function of poor students acting out more, as is often the claim. role of racial bias in perpetuating education inequity, whether explicit or implicit, cannot be ignored by the department. department's enforcement of civil rights laws appear to be in full retreat at a time when students, all students, need the department to stand with them, fight for them, and protect their rights to a quality public school education.
the department is moving further from the promise of educational equity in brown v. board. america's parents, students and teachers deserve better. i'll look forward to the secretary's testimony today and having a chance to discuss these issues which are vital to our nation's future. and thank you, madam chair. and i yield back. >> thank you, mr. scott. pursuant to committee rule 7c, all members will be permitted to submit written statements to be included in the permanent hearing record. without objection, the hearing record will remain open for 14 days to allow such statements and other extraneous material referenced during the hearing to be submitted for the official hearing record. it's now my pleasure to briefly introduce our distinguished witness, the honorable betsy devos is the secretary for the u.s. department of education. again, secretary, welcome. i ask you to raise your right hand.
do you solemnly swear or affirm the testimony you're about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? let the record reflect secretary devos answered in the affirmative. before i recognize you to provide your testimony, let me briefly remind you of our lighting system. we typically allow five minutes for each witness to present, although i'll be somewhat flexible with your testimony given you're our only witness today. when you begin, the light in front of you will turn green. when one minute is left, the light will turn yellow. the five-minute mark, the light will turn red. secretary devos, you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, chairwoman fox. chairwoman fox, ranking member scott, and members of the committee, thank you for the invitation to testify today. i'm pleased to share an update on the work being done on behalf of america's students. our commitment to every student's success is one we must renew every day.
but first, we must ensure our children are safe at school. when evil visited parkland, florida, it shocked us, it angered us, and it pained us. the tragedy at santa fe high school in texas was only the most recent devastating reminder that our nation must come together to address the underlying issues that create a culture of violence. this administration is committed to keeping our nation's students and teachers safe at school. i have directed my department to do everything within the law to encourage those states and districts affected to take advantage of flexibilities so new funds appropriated under title four are useful. i'm also pleased that attorney general sessions, secretary azar, and secretary neilsen join me on the federal commission on school safety. we are seeking input from students, parents, teachers, school safety personnel, administrators, law enforcement officials, mental health professionals, school
counselors, anyone who is focused on identifying and elevating practical solutions. naturally, the primary responsibility for the physical security of schools rests with states and local communities. the commission looks forward to delivering best practices and findings by year's end. while safety is of primary importance, i'd also like to share with you some exciting progress in a number of key areas and discuss other priorities we are pursuing as well. i want to commend you, dr. foxx, for your leadership on moving to reauthorize and reform the prosper act. this is an issue where we share great passion to help american education catch up to the needs of today's and tomorrow's students. i look forward to working with the full congress to advance meaningful reform, and i know the president looks forward to signing it into law. in 2015, you wisely passed
legislation, the every student succeeds act, that aims to return power to those closest to the students. essa's overwhelming, bipartisan message was clear -- states and local communities, not the federal government, are best positioned to improve education for every student in america. and it is my hope that in turn, the states and local school districts will do the right thing and empower principals, teachers, local leaders, and parents. teachers and parents know best how to meet the needs of their students. we have worked with states to ensure their plans meet the law's requirements, and i have approved 46 plans. but the true test of essa will be how states, school districts, and schools turn their plans into action and embrace the flexibility the law allows. we look forward to monitoring the progress made and provide our support where appropriate. in accordance with the president's executive order, the department is also in the process of comprehensively
reviewing current regulations and guidance to ensure they are relevant, necessary, and in the best interest of students. we are removing old and outdated regulations and guidance letters from the books, including the many rendered obsolete, as you have updated and amended laws. in the coming months, we intend to announce negotiated rulemaking to address higher education regulations, which stifle innovation by limiting opportunities for students and unnecessarily burdening agencies and institutions. to ensure fairness to all students, work to draft new proposed regulations on sexual harassment and misconduct is well under way. schools must continue to confront these issues head on, including the horrific incidents that all too often arise. accordingly, the adjudication process at schools must be fair and impartial, giving
everyone -- survivors, the accused, parents, and institutions -- more confidence in its outcomes. the department has never regulated on the issue of sexual harassment under title nine since the supreme court ruled 1. relying instead on letters from unelected political appointees drafted behind closed doors. well as i said when we announced the changes, the era of rule by letter is over. the consensus on both the left and right is that the prior administration erred when it failed to engage the public through notice and comment rulemaking on this issue. we plan to release a notice of proposed rulemaking for public comment in the coming months. we are also in the process of rulemaking on two higher education regulations that were poorly designed. borrower defense to repayment and gainful employment. these rules must protect students from bad faith actors, but they must also treat both
institutions and taxpayers fairly. these proposed rules are under review at omb and we expect to publish for public comment soon. perhaps no effort has a greater potential to positively and directly impact post-secondary students than reforms to financial aid. next generation. financial services environment will be the most significant improvement to administering student aid in two decades. it will modernize approach to technology and customer service to provide a world class experience and improved borrower outcomes. i look forward to work with this committee on ways to further improve the experience for students. this work is indicative. we most make bold changes to
afford every student to address their unique needs. we ask everyone from every walk in life in america to rethink school. rethink means that we must question everything. regardless of how difficult or politically sensitive it might be to ensure nothing limits students or leaves them unprepared. it's pastime to ask some of the questions that often get labeled as nonnegotiable or just don't get asked at all. questions such as, why are students ground by age? why do schools close for the summer? why can't a student learn at his or her own pace? why are student limited based upon the faculty and facilities available? and there are many more. we must also rethink education after high school and embrace the fact that a global economy demands a posture of life long learning. education does not end with a movement of a tassel.
we must put to rest notion a traditional four year degree is the only pathway to success. we are working to expand high quality options available for students. and we look forward to working with congress to ensure that the prosper act addresses this need as well. finally, we must rethink the department. we have developed a reorganization plan to more efficiently serve students and the taxpayer. the department must protect the rights of students. especially the most vulnerable. while empowering parents, teachers, and local leaders to identify the best ways to meet the unique needs of the students they serve. these reforms are not rooted in a partisan ideology nor designed to benefit one group over another. they are focused on the students, parents and teachers i meet each week and millions more like them. all they ask for is the opportunity to learn, to teach,
to grow, in a safe, exciting and challenging environment. no student in america should ever be denied the equal opportunity to a great education. we work each day to fulfill that promise. thank you again for the opportunity to share where we have been and where we are going. i look forward to working together in support of all students, and i'll be happy to answer your questions. >> thank you, madam secretary. i'm going to begin the questioning this morning. madam secretary, thank you for mentioning the prosper act. as you know, it contains many provisions to help students gain valuable skills, enter the workforce and enjoy successful careers. one such provision workforce pell is similar to a proposal in your budget to expand eligibility of the pell grant program to student in short term programs. share with the committee the
importance of such initiatives for expanding student access to obtain these skills for in demand jobs. >> thank you, chairwoman for that question. we all know that today there are very few -- there are low percentage of traditional students entering four year college and universities. students today need many options to pursue great careers and high paying jobs. we need to have a short term -- we need to approach pell with a much more flexiblity in mind and your proposal in the prosper act to allow for high quality, shorter term certification and credentialing programs i think is a very important step in the right direction. >> thank you very much. madam secretary it's imperative the department provide borrowers who default on their student loans to services they need to get back into repayment and repair their credit. there are reports the department's existing
collections contractors are so overwhelmed with accounts they cannot respond in real-time to all borrowers proactively reaching out for help with their loans. what is the department doing to ensure there is sufficient capacity among contractors to provide immediate service to borrowers seeking to rehabilitate their loans? >> we share your concern about making sure students are well taken care of and are well serviced when they take on student debt and student loans and we are confident that the current servicing agreements and arrangements have the capacity to take care of these, and as we continue to move into the reforms of federal student aid, this pathway will continue to allow us that continued focus on doing what's right and best for students. so we have every confidence we can continue to service them well and will be able to do so even better in the future. >> thank you, madam secretary.
i'm going to now yield to the ranking member for his questioning. >> thank you. welcome madam secretary. madam secretary, the prosper act provides for $15 billion cut in student aid, is that right? >> i've heard that opined. i'm not sure i agree with that. >> you have another number? >> pardon me? >> do you have another number? >> it's in an approach to giving students much more flexibility pursuing their higher education. >> $15 billion cut. do you have another number? >> i haven't heard that opined that's the case. i said i don't necessarily share that perspective. >> public service loan forgiveness, is a debacle going on with teachers who are in the process of fulfilling their loan forgiveness requirements.
how long has the department known about that? >> are you speaking of the teacher grant program? >> yes. >> we are aware of the issues within that program. and have taken steps to address the issues in there. >> do you need legislation to fix it? >> i don't believe so. >> can we expect the same debacle to happen in a few years when students are completing their ten years of loan forgiveness? >> we are committed to fulfilling the requirements and the arrangements of loans under the public service loan forgiveness agreements. >> do you need any legislation to fulfill that responsibility? >> no, i don't believe so. >> under the every state of the union succeeds act, over 50 members of congress including members of the congressional black caucus, hispanic caucus and asian and pacific american caucus sent you a letter on march 7th expressing our
disappointment regarding implementation and a concern that you have approved plans that appear to violate the law. that was more than two months ago. do you intend to respond to the letter? >> sir let me say i've not approved any plan that does not comport with the law. that has been my commitment stated multiple times publicly. >> do you intend -- >> i'm committed to following the law. >> do you intend to respond to the letter. >> the letter will be responded to indeed. but i have given you my commitment before and i give it again that no plans are approved that do not correspond and comport with the law. >> the law requires states to reduce the achievement gap, some plans have been approved provide that the ranking of schools will not include subgroup performance. how do you comply with the law to require a reduction in
achievement gaps if the ranking of cools does not include the calculation of subgroup performance? >> sir, all of the plans that i've approved follow what the law requires. and we will continue to do so. >> how does it conform to the law if subgroup performance is not part of the calculation? >> all of the plans comport with the law as this body passed. >> the subgroup performance part of the calculation that the states -- >> as require bylaw. >> if a state does not include subgroup performance in the calculation how is that in compliance with the law which requires them to address achievement gaps? >> again, sir, all of the plans that i have approved follow the law as this body passed. >> well, you going to answer the question? how do you address an
achievement gap of subgroup performance if it isn't addressed? >> it is addressed as required by the law. >> how is that? >> whatever the law states it requires -- >> what does the law state? >> the plans that i have approved follow the law as this body passed. >> and what is the requirement? >> if the question is what the law does not include that you might have wished it did, i will not add to the law, i will follow the law. >> i'm just asking you what you think the law is that you're following? >> the every student succeeds act as passed by this body. >> right. and based on -- based on subgroup performance you're required, states are required to reduce the achievement gap. i'm just asking you how can you do that if you don't calculate subgroup performance? >> we certainly hope that every
state will not only do what the law requires, but will go above and beyond and work to close the achievement gap for every student that they serve within their state. >> without -- >> the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman's time has expired. mr. wilson, you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chairwoman. madam secretary, thank you for your extraordinary service for american families and for classroom teachers. as a grateful husband of an educator i appreciate your efforts to provide quality education to our nation's youth. i'm grateful for the service of former south carolina education superintendent as the nation's new deputy education secretary. he and his wife susan served ably as the president and first lady of nof newbury college in h carolina. we're proud of his proud
ukrainian heritage. what an extraordinary individual to be working with you. what a great team you make. madam secretary, i believe the american students have a right to know if the education they are receiving is propaganda produced by a foreign government. currently foreign entities can exploit loop poles in the current law to promote the political agenda of its government while stifling opposing viewpoints. one such example of this is the confucious institute that's affiliated with china that was surrounded by controversy regarding influencing teaching curriculum and sensorship of speech. a former senior leader of the communist party of china in charge of propaganda even stated the conucius institute is an important part of china's overseas set up. he further stated that, it has made an important contribution
towards improving our soft power. the confucius brand looks logical. there are 103 active confucius institutes with 300 classrooms in k-12 schools. i introducesed a bill the foreign transparency act which requires institutions of higher education to disclose the contracts they entered into with foreign sources as well as the dollar amount received where they have facilities co-located with advance research laboratories. do you share my concern about the influence of foreign political parties in nation states in the education of our students. would you agree should there be more transparency with foreign actors in our nation's colleges and universities? >> congressman, thank you for that question and thank you for your comment earlier about the
new i share your concern. this issue has been raised up. while it's more of a state and institutional issue to deal with, i think having transparency around foreign government, financial contributions into any school or any institution is, would be an important consideration. >> thank you for your assistance and input. south carolina every student succeed plan spear heeded by current head of education includes career readiness as a measure to report the percentage of our high school students who are career ready by the time of graduation. business leaders have been involved in determining the career readiness credentials need for new jobs.
last year the house passed hr 2353 the bipartisan strengthening career and technical education act for 21 century which would reauthorize the broken cte act. unfortunately the senate has not taken up this important piece of legislation. with the growing industry in our state creating jobs and throughout the country and greater need for skilled workers how do you perceive the role of federal government assistance in high school and middle school levels specifically with our rural districts? >> thank you for that question. very good question. the re-authorization to support career and technical education is of utmost importance i believe as we look at how we best support students today and tomorrow. and the flexibilities around allowing for students in high school to begin earning college credit, to begin getting a taste
of what could be beyond high school to have a variety of earned and learn options afford them, all of these are areas that i think need to be built upon and expanded. and i commend regional and local community leadership particularly in the business community engaging with educational institutions to really think about what needs are today and tomorrow and to help create relevant programs and possibilities for students. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. the gentleman's time is expired. miss davis you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chairwoman. secretary devos, thank you for joining us today. may i ask you a little bit about for profit, nonprofit schools. as of last august about 100,000 borrowers had filed complaints with the department of education saying that they had been misled by their school. can you tell me what proportion
of those came from students who attended public institutions? >> congresswoman, thanks for that question. the exact percentage of students from for profit versus not for profit schools, i don't know the breakdown of that. >> just an estimate. >> specifically. but we have -- we inherited tens of thousands of these claims when i came into office. and for the ones that were very clearly to be decided, those were able to be taken care of very quickly. but, frankly, beyond that, there was no process and no framework in order to consider these. and we are -- we have now been able to put that process together and have been able to address these pending claims very promptly and are continuing to do so on behalf of the students. >> if you are focusing on those, do you have any idea the percentage of nonprofit institutions?
>> well, as you know that would be primarily from two large institutions, both corinthian and itt. a significant percentage of those were from those institutions. >> from those institutions. because i under that about 1% of public institutions, less than 1% for nonprofits actually have students who felt that they had been misled by their school. i'm just wondering, you know, 90% of colleges enroll students in the nonprofits, so that's a large percentage then of for profits that student are reporting on, which you seem to have indicated. what do those numbers tell you >> well, fraud in any case is not to be tolerated. and i think we have to be very
clear about that. we need to ensure that students that have been defrauded, that's taken into consideration in regards to their student debt and dealt with appropriately. we need to make sure that students go into higher education with their eyes wide-open about what they are buying. >> do we have a role, though, does the federal government have a role in that? if we're looking at 200 times more ending up filing those kinds of complaints, you know it suggests to me there's a difference between these institution types and i'm wondering with the eyes on this that you suggest at the federal government, do you have any idea about how many people have been dedicated to looking at this fraud? what i under is that there were some, you know, numbers somewhere like 27 perhaps individuals, personnel. do you have, do you know how many are doing that today?
>> from within federal student aid? >> yeah. >> the team dedicated to this and we've added the number to assess the claims. i don't have the figure of the exact number looking specifically at this, these claims today but the process is one that has been in place and has been augmented in order to ensure that the backlog that we inherited is able to be addressed. >> thank you. i know madam chair brought up the issue of teacher grants and i hope that you have a number of people that are dedicated to looking at that, that issue right now because certainly i think people are very concerned when they hear about that and it really falls on the department. i wanted to just mention a very quick story about a san diego veteran, many of who attended for profit schools. served in the navy. promised if he went on to
school, used his g.i. bill, of course, that he would be able to get a far better job than he would have been able to transition in from the navy. taxpayers spend about $50,000 on his education. he spent three years of his life for profit institutions, assured his degree would translate and none much that was the case. should there be a recourse for students in his situation who enrolled under false pretenses? >> again, we have to be very serious about and intentional about rooting out fraud. and we need to ensure that students have a wide range and full and appropriate information when entering into programs that they are pursuing. >> as you look at the new regulations, which i think have been delayed, i really hope that this is going to be something that's addressed. >> thank you. >> thank you, miss davis. mr. guthrie you're recognized
for five minutes. >> i'm glad i'm going to follow miss davis. i want to talk about apprenticeship and hope to figure out what the federal role versus what's happening at the state and local level on apprenticeships. you and i have similar background. your family a little bigger scale but in the same kind of -- your family, your personal family in the aluminum casting industry and i think about everybody in west michigan at some point that i met when i first got in the business had been trained by prince machines or somebody in the training and moving forward. so i think it's great that you're leading on this issue because this is something in your family legacy. miss davis and i got to meet the chairman of buehler prints. they are implementing what they do in switzerland here in the united states to take care of people not going to college but creating career paths. it's amazing what we saw there and would like to see those opportunities here. i know you served on that task
force for apprenticeship and task force presented a road map. would you like to describe where you're going with that. >> thanks, congressman, for that queen and -- question and interest in that area. learn and earn opportunities are important to be more fully developed and made available to young people as they pursue their education and their careers beyond high school. and i think "the apprentice"ship task force has brought forward a couple of dozen, maybe slightly more recommendations on how to really improve the number and offering, you know, wide range of offerings around apprenticeships. as you know our nation doesn't have quite the same tradition of apprenticeships and earn and learn opportunities as say switzerland and germany. and we can learn a lot from industry there and from the framework there.
we are committed to finding and encouraging the growth of these apprenticeship opportunities working with business to develop industry regulared corre ee eeed credentialing programs. i'll be working closely with secretary acosta where our duties and responsibilities overlap to ensure we can advance these opportunities as swifrtly and broadly as possible for students. >> an area that's been very bipartisan. the only thing we're trying to figure out together is what federal role versus state-local role is. the idea of doing this from miss n norcross' idea to use this for apprenticeship. so the ct on mr. wilson talked a little bit, the cte hasn't been re-authorized how has that affected you. we want the senate to move. i don't want to put you
on-the-spot. what would that mean for the president's priorities if you were able to get a new cte. >> i think the re-authorization or the updating of the perkins act is important because a lot of the framework under which cte is operating today is a look backwards versus a look forward. a look at where we are and a look forward. and we need to have -- we need to build in more flexibilities for these programs to really serve needs of students today and meet the needs of industry, and so it really is a very important consideration and i would encourage and urge the senate to take it up very quickly. >> thank you. i want to switch to something that's been rapid in my commonwealth the opioid epidemic as well and just like about every committee here that has any type of jurisdiction that would deal with opioids and our energy commission has taken the
lead because of our jurisdiction but everybody is. so trying to attack this from every angle. in the fy-2019 budget you were looking at school base opioid and that was 30 million for cool climate transformation grants. can you talk about that? >> this as we all know is a really serious problem in our country and a growing problem and the budget proposal that has $43 million in it for school, to look at school programs that are doing well at preventing and educating young people to avoid these drugs and this trap in the future, we will be highlighting and helping to replicate some of these programs that are working well at the state or local level. and i just can't stress enough how important it is to really focus on the prevention of kids
getting involved, young people getting involved with these drugs to begin with and an awareness how quickly and easily it happens. i just offer a personal antecdotep. we have close friends who adopted a second infant. the infant was born with a me that do methadone addiction. he was just able to leave the hospital after 29 weeks of withdrawal treatment. the hospital they were in to receive this hospital has a third of the babies there on average that are born drug addicted, and this is a serious, serious issue. >> thank you. i yield back. >> gentleman's time has expired. you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chair. thank you for being here, madam secretary. one general question and one specific question.
you mentioned the point that we need to be rethinking education and how we are delivering that vital service to the american people. in arizona and west virginia and oklahoma and colorado, north carolina educators have been walking out of their classrooms, going to their state capitals because they are fed up with the lack of investment in education. i could speak specifically to arizona, teachers walked out of their classrooms for a variety of reasons. one was pay, compensation. the other one was the history of almost ten years in a row of tax cuts to wealthiest individuals, to corporations in the state and that money diverted away from education. education money diverted to for profit schools in the state
voucher program. school facilities, technology, instructional materials all lacking and behind. and the changed demographic for the state and the need one out of three, four kids in the state if not more come from poverty, from economically challenged homes. english learners being needing that and students with disabilities. i mention these things because that's why they walked out. the movement spoke to the lack of investment. so my general question is those teachers are telling, telling you what, telling congress what and what do you say to these teachers? >> thanks, congressman for that question. let me just say that there's no one more important to a student's education than a great teacher. and i think great teachers need to be supported.
i think they should be better compensated. and i think they should be treated as professionals. and i contend that the system as it exists today doesn't treat them really as professionals. it really forces them all of them into a system, into a box, and gives them very little opportunity for personal exc excelling and development. and i think that that's an area that really we need to rethink when it comes to education is honoring and respecting great teachers and treating them as the professionals that they are and should be. >> and i think teachers are telling us to rethink the decision, policy decisions that have been made that forced them into the situation where they have to make the very difficult decision of walking out of their classroom and the students that they are responsible for and empowered for and have committed
to teaching. i think they are telling us to rethink what we're doing. the fact the potential initiative would be to in the state of arizona would be to roll back those tax cuts to the wealthiest and to corporations and to direct that money back into the education fund so that we can deal with some of the other lack of investments that have occurred. one specific question having to do with the office of english learners that had a directorship in that. the population is growing. the office of english language acquisition, the directorship position is understaffed. it's being eliminated. do you feel have the authority to implement the consolidation that you're doing with that or eliminating the directorship or do you feel that you will need congressional approval for that? >> what you're referring to is
part of our re-organization proposal and plan, and i really believe that programs need to be able to work together and share information, and make one another better. and what i've learned over the last year at the department of education that, is that over the years many silos have developed and grown and there is very little information shared and very little synergy created between the different program areas, and so our proposal is actually to really envelope all of these really important pieces and parts to k-12 education and how we best serve students to really make everything better as a result. and so the proposal is to actually elevate and make it of more importance than diminish its importance.
>> but the office of english language acquisition was established in law and that's why my question is, will you seek congressional approval? >> yes. wherever the law would require change, of course, congress -- it's up to congress whether to approve it or not. >> yield back, madam chair. >> thank you. you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chairwoman and madam, secretary thank you for being here and having had an opportunity to be up close and personal to your activities for the past number of decades, across the board in education excellence and not just the one size fits all and not just private, parochial but public activities you've done across michigan as well as the united states. putting personal effort towards that and not just talk. i appreciate that. having had an opportunity to talk to some of the teachers
that you have enhanced, they are not talking about walking out. they are talking about the excitement they have of being in a place where their students are primary, and they are given all of the support necessary and i'm talking about a public charter academy that i had a chance to walk through. so creative with innovation and engineering and a whole strata of students that were there. it was exciting to see. so we appreciate that. madam secretary, you previously stated that your budget focuses on improving educational opportunities and outcomes for all students while also returning power to the people closest to the students. please elaborate on how returning power to the people closest to the students, localities, parents, teachers improve outcomes for these students. >> thanks, congressman for that question. i have enjoyed working with you over the years to really help
students become everything they can be when they are able with their parents to make the right kind of educational choice for themselves, and that really is what we're talking about here, is those who are closest to students know them the best. and classroom teachers need more autonomy and flexibility to meet the needs of students in their classroom. not too long ago i had a session with a number of teachers, classroom teachers that had been teachers of the year in their state or district, but no longer were teaching and i wanted to understand why. and to a person they said how much they really loved teaching, but after they had done their victory lap for the year as teacher of the year, or, you know, district teacher of the year they came back to their schools and were basically encouraged to kind of get back
in their classroom and not make any more noise. and one of them said, i got tired of hearing to keep it down, that we're having too much fun. and another one who said, if i wasn't on page 72 of the textbook on this day, i had my wrist slapped. and the frustration that they expressed, i think, is indicative of a system that for too long has tried to control everything from above and has not respected and honored the needs of the individual students at the most local level and of parents' desire of better for their kids a and of teachers wanting to be able to meet their students needs and not having the flexibility to do things differently. and that's one of the things i talk about when i talk about rethinking school. we have got to get back into a
mode where we have more creativity, more flexibility. we expect results, but we have a lot more variety in the way we get to those results. because no two children are the same. they all learn differently. when we talk about trying to do things at a local level wits a desire for every single child to have that opportunity for the spark that's in them to get not only lit a little more but stoked in a major way. >> okay. the prosper act, our efforts at reauthorizing higher education act you've expressed some support for that. the prosper act would reform the formula to distribute dollars based on pell grant recipients. is upgrading the federal work
study formula something the department supports. >> yes. >> the flexibility is not there especially for some of the colleges like adrian college in my district that's expanding, growing and yet it's not long existing. so we hope that you work with that and give them greater opportunity. i see my time is about to expire. i yield back. >> thank you. mr. courtney you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chairwoman. to follow up on mr. scott's comment to the $15 billion cut that's not an opinion but a cbo score and that's, madam secretary, exactly what we have to abide by and we have to look at as policymakers vote on legislation like that. madam secretary, this is not your first trip to the house. a year ago you apartipeared bef the house appropriation. at the time those of us in connecticut were taken off guard by the fact you citeed a story
by a gentleman named michael who you spoke to apparently around that time period and grew up in east hartford, connecticut and described his experience at east hartford high school as a very low functioning sort of high-risk environment. you described, you quoted him describing east hartford high school as nothing more than adult daycare, a dangerous daycare. within about 48 hours the governor of the state of connecticut, congressman john larson, my colleague who attended east hartford high school and taught at east hartford high school and the superintendent and also students wrote to you directly, again, within 48 hours objecting to the characterization that you publicly stated as the highest education official in the land. again to date they still have not received a response. in fact, two weeks later at the senate you repeated the story and according to the ct mirror which is a local newspaper in the state of connecticut, you
now told that story four times in public. and, again, for the record, madam chairwoman, i ask that these letters be put into the record. thank you. and i would just note that, again, the invitation was given in those letters for you to actually come visit which, again, has not occurred. i thought maybe today i would bring a little bit of east hartford high school to washington and i have a chart that shows the campus of ea hartford high school. the building on the right is the main building. there's a tunnel which is a high school magnet cool which was constructed. that judge you spoke to graduated 17 years ago. that's who you cited as some kind of expert or person who knows east hartford high school. that magnet school which against shares programs and facilities with the students at east
hartford high school was ranked number two of all high schools in the state of connecticut and number 125 for the entire country in terms of high cools. east hartford high's numbers in terms of absenteeism and test scores have been going up something which the superintendent pointed out to you in the correspond which, again, you still to this day have not responded. i know a little bit about this because the magnet school is a place where my daughter attended school. she graduated in 2013. my wife is a pediatric nurse practitioner. she would not send our daughter to a dangerous environment. so, again, number one, will you please respond to letters that were written politely not vitriolically regarding the current facts that's happening at east hartford high school which u.s. news and report has recognized. >> thanks, congressman for that question and for your advocacy
for east hartford high school. i'm very pleased to hear -- >> i asked you a question. can you respond to the letters a year later, please? >> as soon as i get enough of my staff in place to be able to appropriately respond, as you know -- >> well i think that's asking a year is really pretty goodlat good latitude in responding to mail. will you accept the invitation to come and see your several for what's happening there. again, what you'll see is that the accountable magnet school approach, which your department and your budgets have been underfunding at the same time you've been overfunding unaccountable charter schools which is, again, part of the ideology, obviously, of this department, what you will see is that the magnet approach which promotes diversity for students as well as quality and actually is accountable to the public and to the taxpayer which, again, is far from the case in many
charter schools which, again, are clearly have been getting the lion's share of the budgets that you have been sending over. so, again, i would encourage you to answer your mail and after a year and secondly you come up to connecticut and actually see whether or not this gentleman whose 17-year-old story frankly has been overtaken by real life and real events. with that i yield back. thank you, mr. courtney. you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank the chairwoman. good morning, miss secretary. i appreciate you being here. i want to correct the record, first of all, on this discussion that we're having about the budget and the prosper act. happened on another committee i serve as vice chairman of the budget committee. and as i look at the cbo score and i can tell you that the prosper act reallocates taxpayer dollars from unfair programs to pell dollars for low-income students to access
post-secondary education. if you take into account the entire cbo score for the bill, my fellow members of the committee you'll find rather than quote-unquote cutting $10 billion in aid prosper act proposes to invest $30 billion in the pell grant program resulting in additional $7 millimil -- 7 million pell grant recipients. that's out of the cbo report as well. i would appreciate my colleagues looking and reviewing the entire cbo score to see what the reality of the situation is. of course, cbo is limited to the 1974 budget act and understanding that it can only really score things in a static scenario not necessarily a dynamic scenario that accounts for the flexibility and real life that students are going
through. madam secretary i recently had the chance to visit with teachers in every corner of our state and i'm recalling that based on the story that you just explained a couple questioners ago about teachers who were frustrated. i met one too. she was running for local office. i can't comment on, you know, what kind of a teacher she was. but she was certainly engaged in her community and also with her superintendent. and both of them, she said, which caught my attention immediately, she said that she was quitting. she had enough. and that fellow teachers were also just hanging it up. i inquired as to why. she let me know that it was still all the paper work and forms and data collection, and federal government this and state government that and it was just really -- she wasn't able to teach. and i was dismayed because for five, six years, i helped write
on this committee and in the past every student succeeds act which the "wall street journal" calls the biggest evolution of power from the federal government to state government that that editorial board had seen from any bill on any subject in the last 25 years, last quarter century. so i thought we were doing good. that message or that reality hasn't reached at least according to the conversations i've had, our teachers and our superintendents and principals at least in the state of indiana. so i would like you to talk, you know, through this committee, to the teachers of my state and tell them what's really happening here. let's start with the state plans. you know, we said i hate to use the word approval because it's barely that. as long as you address some parameters however the state addressed them as long as they were covered in the plan you were to quote-unquote approve it and make it transparent for
voters and taxpayers in my state. that was the transfer of power that local stakeholders would have the buy in. what's going on, in your view? >> thanks congressman for that question. the every student succeed act does give a lot of flexibility back to the states. and each state has the opportunity to take that same flexibility and bring it down to the district and community level. and i have urged and encouraged states to do so. and i think if that's taken seriously and executed seriously, that teachers will find themselves with a lot more flexibility and autonomy. i think about a couple of schools that i visited right in your home state, and a couple of them that are doing things differently and one of them as part of the indianapolis public school system, but it has opted to be an innovation school and take itself out of the system per se, still supported with
some services, but has taken it upon itself to organize itself internally with its own leadership, it's own teaching staff, that is accountable to the leadership, and very self-contain and autonomous in terms of making decisions around faculty and leadership within the school. the results, according to the teachers and leadership i talked with, have been remarkable. student achievement has continued to rise in the two years since they have undertaken this. and they are able to do things so much more flexibly and make changes so much more quickly in response to the needs of students. they all determined that having a saturday morning session for a few hours to help students who were struggling would be a good idea. they had that up and implemented in less than a month. they said if we were part of the regular system it would still be
under consideration a year and a half later. and so i use that as an example of what can be. i think of another school that actually is a charter school that is focused on kids coming out of addictions, that to continue their studies. and they have opted to be there to continue in their treatment programs, but to focus on completing their high school and in many cases earning a year or two of college credit right while they are in -- >> madam secretary, your time has expired. >> thank you, chairwoman. >> thank you for being here. we've been anxiously awaiting your visit for 16 months. it's a pleasure to see you and meet you. let me just clear up something my colleague just said about pell grants. yeah they probably are going up.
it's kind of alternative facts. they are going up because we're allowing pell to be used for more low performing programs just like fraudulent for profit schools that your department defends. that's the real reason they are going up. and madam secretary, the chairwoman is probably correct that education is not mentioned anywhere in the constitution. but, in fact, it is mentioned in law. the very same law that you were sworn to uphold and defend. just as you were charged to ensure equal access to a quality education for all children, not some children, all children, including public school children. including english language learners. including i.d.e. a,student and you are charged to ensure all schools are held to the same standards of accountability. i'm concerned about the low performance of your civil rights
office. could you please just state for me the mission of your civil rights office? >> thanks, congresswoman for the question. the office for civil rights is committed to protecting the civil rights as determined under the law of this land, and we do so proudly and with great focus each day. >> that's not the mission statement. do you know what it is? >> perhaps -- >> that's okay. >> i have not mepeopl memorized mission statement. >> what do you believe is vigorous enforcement of civil rights in the context of schools today? >> it would be following the law and enforcing the law as stated. >> okay. you do believe the office of civil rights is following those procedures that were put in
force since 1964, service act of 1964? >> i'm sorry do i believe the office is fouling that law >> yes. >> yes, indeed i do. >> what of what leads you to believe that they are. >> i'm confident that the team assembled there, both of career staff dedicated career staff and political staff has continued to focus on doing so with great professionalism. >> how do you do it if you continue to try to dismantle and defund the office? i'm not understanding. >> haven't done any such thing. >> i think i've heard enough. thank you very much. i yield back, madam chair. >> thank you. the gentle woman yields back. mr. barletta you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. thank you secretary devos, for being here. 10.2 million children are in after cool programs but the
parents of another 19.4 million children say their children would participate in after school if a program were available. in pennsylvania we're building on the successes of a program called schools and homes in education or shine. since 2007, 81% of students participating in shine improved their homework completion. 99% advanced to the next grade level. 71% improved their academic performance. everything we've seen in the original programs snout being replicated in lucerne county and they are seeing the same results. i could not be prouder of this program. i would like to highlight parts of shine that makes sense to incorporate in other after school programs. shine does an exceptional job of involving parents in the progress of their child through home visits and other approaches
because it is critical that the parent have a stake in their child's success. second, the approach they take at shine utilizes regular school day teach toers operate the program. these teachers already know the ins and occupants of how students learn from 99:00 to 3:00 and able to build on that approach from 3:00 to 6:00. shine focuses the importance on s.t.e.m. education but with arts included. teachers have a better understanding of students needs via individualized education plans for each student. before any student walks into a shine program teachers are already equipped with a blueprint for how best to help that particular student learn and improve academically. this works well for exchanging information between teachers, administrators, parents and students. ultimately the program does a great job of bringing schools and homes together to achieve the best academic and career outcome for the student and it is working.
secretary devos, thank you again for your willingness to engage on this subject during our meeting last month and given the innovative approach that shine offers and the results that it has been able to produce i think it would benefit many students across the country. how can we encourage these practices from the federal level and when relevant showcase them as models for other potential programs to take advantage of? >> well, thank congressman for that question and for your obvious passion and advocacy for that program in your district, and we did, indeed, talk about it when we met, and it's very inspiring to hear about the results and the impact that it's having. i think the role that the department can play in helping encourage other districts, other communities to adopt a program such as this is to ensure that we have the information available made broadly available to those who are looking for
these kinds of tested and tried programs and we need to be able to do so on a place that's easy to access and actually readable and approachable. >> thank you. i want to switch gears here and talk about something that's very important to me and that's the safety of our students in schools. i've been calling for increased protections for our cools as they are absolutely part of our nation's critical infrastructure and deserve the same sort of treatment as federal agency buildings and capital buildings. following the tragic school shooting in parkland, florida, president trump formed the federal commission on school safety. this commission brings together several agency heads including the dhs, secretary nielsen and yourself. my understanding the school safety commission met back in march. can you elaborate on the commission's goals and what's the timeline for this commission moving forward and what sort of results and information can our
students, teachers and law enforcement expect? >> thanks for that question regarding the federal safety commission, school safety commission. we have been in the process of putting the agenda together for the commission. we had a meeting this last week, one of the first broader listening sessions. we received -- we received updates from those who had been involved in commissions and reports from the previous tragedies to find out what can be learned from there and we also listened to parents of students who have had a child killed in one of these terrible tragedies as well, and going forward, we will soon have timeline to be published more broadly. we're looking forward to listening to every, every interest group, every
constituency particularly teachers, parents and law enforcement and school leadership that has been close to these situations, and ones that have taken really intentional steps to address safety in their own school and in their own community. the outcomes will be really raising up practices, ideas that have been implemented in communities across the country but may not be broadly known. with the goal of ensuring that schools and communities are knowledgeable of the resources available and have the tools to be able to make the right decisions for them to protect their own buildings and their own communities. >> thank you. >> your time has expired. >> you are recognized. >> thank you marks dam chair. in states across the country including colorado, educators
have been protesting our state capitals because frankly they are fed up with the lack of investment in education, reflected in increasing class size, reflected in teacher pay, reflecting basic classroom resources that they need to succeed. in pueblo, colorado, teachers went on strike in the first 25 years, teachers are a struggling to live in communities where they work because pay is so low. i think qualified teachers are critical to a person's success. through investments in title 2. a key lever for supporting team development, professional development, but for a second year in a row your department has recommended the elimination of title 2 a which would mean millions of dollars in lost funding for colorado schools, and lead to additional teacher layoffs. after calling for the elimination of title 2 a for the
second time, what does your department plan to do to show support for teachers and invest in the teacher workforce? >> thanks, congressman for that question. as you know, as it relates to the budget, tough decisions were made where to recommend resources be focused. and that particular provision to which you referred has not been demonstrated to be particularly impactful. so all that to say, flexibilities in other funding streams really can and should be focused on helping ensure that teachers have the opportunity to continue to develop their craft and their skills. and we do need to ensure that they have the kind of opportunities that are necessary for them to continue to develop in their profession. >> i would urge you to look at title 2 a does have a lot of flexibility for districts. i've seen those funds implemented very well when they have a good cohesive team
training environment. >> i want to move on to another issue. have you heard the case whitaker school district and glen versus blum bly. >> vague. >> lt second circuit ruled it is sex based discrimination and therefore illegal when a school doesn't allow a transgender student to use the bathroom conforming with their gender identity. in brum the court held it is sex discrimination and illegally and violation of equal protection clause to discriminate based on gender nonconformity. so this has been the law of the land through precedent in our basic civil rights statute entrusted the department of education with protection with all students civil rights in the educational setting. i want to ask what are your plans to address lbgtq discrimination and harassment in the schools. >> thanks for the question. we are committed to protecting
the civil rights as stated by the civil rights law. and have continued to do so. i think part of what you have referred to is with regard to transgender students. courts have been mixed on that. and this body has not opined or updated or -- >> well, we are clearly out of time. those are two precedents that stand. current interpretation of current u.s. civil rights law. and i want to know how you will instruct acting secretary jackson to adhere to the law and the precedence and actually begin pro-actively protecting transgender student from discrimination? >> as i said, we are committed to ensuring that the law is followed and protecting students civil rights as written in the law and we have done so. and we will continue to do so. >> but i want to be clear as written in the law and current precedent, correct, you'll
conform with that? >> it's been mixed and this body has not opined or added to civil rights. >> the courts may be mixed but whitaker stands. glen stands. those are current interpretations of the law that stand. and i want to make sure your department will implement the law accordingly. >> and there are other opinions that conflict with that. until the supreme court opines or until this body takes action, i am not going to make up law from the department of education. >> well, those laws are, again, currently enforce. finally with regard to special education, we know that students with special needs often face higher rates of discipline. and as you know the federal government has never met commitment to fully fund idea. i have a bill to do that i'd like to know about your plans in access to students with disability? >> well, i'm very much committed to upholding the provisions of idea and continue to be focused on the fact that we need to
ensure that all students with disabilities have the opportunities to pursue their education. >> will you work with congress to fully fund idea? >> i'll work with congress to focus being on the needs of those students. >> i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you, mr. pollist. mr. byrne you are recognized. >> thank you. thank you for being here today. thank you for coming down to mobile last august and spending time in our schools. you'll remember going with me to the excel academy and those were high school students, some of whom had already dropped out, and some were ingrate danger of dropping out. they were doing innovative things at excel to reach out to students that otherwise would be left behind. and you and i got to have conversations with those students. and i was touched with your concern with them as individuals. what's the department doing to
try to address the needs of students like those, students otherwise we would just lose? >> thanks, congressman. i really enjoyed our day together there. and was very much inspired by what we learned at the excel academy and learned at other similar approaches across the country. we need to ensure that all students have the opportunity to pursue education. and when they fall down somewhere in that process, that they have an option to try to get back up on their feet again and move forward. and we need to ensure that flexibilities are granted and allowed for at the state and local level so that those sorts of schools can develop without limitation and without over regulation and that in fact we encourage them to do so. and i think -- i noted that your community has come around this school, the leadership there, and has supported it, the
business community has supported it. we need to see replication of that across the country. and we do that best when we ensure that there is the kind of flexibility at the local level to be able to take those steps. >> we appreciate that. and it's obvious to me that day that you understand that those aren't throw away kids. they are all of our kids and we need to treat them that way. i also want to talk to you something near and dear to the hearts of everyone on this committee, and that he career technical education. i also take you to maritime training facility which is mainly adults but we had some younger adults in there. and we were doing pretty innovative things there to trying to make ships for the navy near there. how importance is this program to that and other type programs around the country? >> well, i think had the perkins act and update a renewal in
modernization of it is really important. and seeing the approach taken at that facility it was engaging students of many different ages and giving them a new path forward for a great career. in fact, many if not most of them had already been guaranteed a job upon completion of their program. and those are the sorts of opportunities that we need to see replicated across the country. and doing so with the kinds of flexibilities that need to be afforded at the federal level will happen if the reauthorization of perkins actually happens. so i hope that will happen soon. >> i may need to take you over to the senate with me and have a few conversations over there. >> indeed. >> the final point i want to bring up is we also want to a public magnet school, council, beautiful location, had the
uniforms on. and it struck me there what we had was a school that is a school of very high standards. because remember those kids came from all over mobile county, mothers and dad's from all walks of life, equal, african-american and white, but those kids have incredible test scores. high standards. what can we do at the federal level to re-emphasize the need for high standards for every school in america? >> i think we continue to talk about the expectation that standards are going to be high and that achievement expectations need to be high. i think we also continue to support new approaches to education, like this magnet school had. it was new in the sense that they were offering current and future relevant course work. but it was also classical in the sense that it gave a great foundation to the students. and so i this thinnk having the
opportunity for for plex abilmoy at the school level excellence and high achievement and accountabilities that follow, that is an approach we have to have replicated across the country. >> thank you for your leadership. come back to mobile. i yield back. >> thanks, congressman. >> thank you. mr. sub line, you are recognized for five minutes. >> yeah, madam secretary, thank you for being here this morning joining us. the mission of the department of education office for civil rights is to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation. and all civil rights data collection is charged with collecting data on key education and civil rights issues in all, all our nation's public schools. however, despite that charge,
and despite having the agency discretion to do so, the crdc does not collect data in the territories. i represent a district that is highly diverse. i like to think there are no major issues in student inequity. but without the cr data, valuable source information that is it only available to states, it is difficult to know for sure. according to your department, the decision not to conduct this is based on potential burden and lack of resources. money. yet your fiscal year 2019 budget request calls for decrease in the office of civil rights budget and staffing. it is promising to know that this will soon report, but why stop there, madam secretary. why have you not acted to include the outlying areas in this area? can you add the four remaining
districts in our country to fully capture all our nation's schools? >> thanks, congressman for that question. as you know, the office for civil rights has completed data collection on a regular basis. and has done so at the direction of this body and of congress. and we will continue to do so as we are directed. i think your question about collection of students in the northern mariana and other territories is a valid one. it is something that i can and should go back and will ask our staff to take a look at what is it prohibiting it, if anything. >> thank you. and so are you saying that i can get your commitment today, ma sam secretary, that you will add the northern islands and the other territories in the next
collection efforts? >> i'll take a look at it. that's what i can commit to you. >> commit. so that's a commitment yes or no? >> i commit to you that i'll take a look at it. >> okay. so will you commit then to maintain all the current elements of the crdc and maintain the requirement for all school district to participate in the collection? >> we have no plans to change the data collection proceedings. >> since the data collections is required for all in the nation, that includes the outlying areas that has not been attended. so let me ask you, madam secretary, does every state and territory have four year institutions of higher education? >> i'm sorry? >> does every state and territory have four year institutions of higher
education? >> every state and territory? >> do they, do you know? >> i know that some of the territories do. >> so you don't know not all, right? that's what you are saying, not all territories have four year institutions of higher learning? >> why don't you tell me. >> yeah. okay. i will. so despite the k12 systems involved in islands, americans produce high school graduates eager to pursue higher education, neither territory has an a credit ited four year university or college. this leaves most students forcing them to ensure significant personal cost to leave home in order to pursue college degree beyond two years. so simply put four year degrees are cost prohibitive for students in these territories even after factoring in federal
student aide. madam secretary, how can the department support motivated high school graduates living in these territories to pursue a four year degree? >> congressman, i think that we definitely should include all students to pursue their future and the opportunities that they have, whether that be a four-year degree or mumt multitude of other pathways. as we talked about earlier in the hearing, there are multitude, there are multiple pathways that students can and should be able to pursue to pursue careers and to pursue meaningful adult lives. and we are committed to ensuring that students have those opportunities across the board. >> i don't disagree. my time is up. but i'd really like to work with your office, your department, and addressing this issue. >> thank you. i would welcome that.
>> i appreciate that. thank you. >> thank you. >> i yield back. >> thank you, mr. sablan. mr. grothman, you are recognized for five minutes. >> i have two questions for you. first one, if you are not ready that's okay because we'll find other questions. but i want to ask you about the workforce innovation act. and rules that were promulgated or guidances prum you wiomulgat the obama administration and how it affected people who left high school. and whether you have any plans to change the obama era situation which is as i see it could be very harmful to people with different abilities in that they cannot be recommended or advised to go to work centers. and as i understand it, a lot of people out there, therefore, are kind of sitting at home losing
skills, losing social opportunity. are you familiar with that situation? >> are you speaking of the competitive integrated employment issue? >> correct. >> yes. this is a matter of great interest and concern to me. and it's one we are looking at closely. there are groups and individuals that have come from both sides of this issue and have strong arguments on both sides. and so it is a guidance piece that i'm looking at closely. and have not yet reached any kind of conclusion. >> have you toured any, i guess they call them work centers now, but are sometimes called i guess now they call them work centers. used to call them sheltered workshops. have you had an opportunity to tour any of these, either in this area or michigan area? >> i have not. >> i'll just ask you, because as long as i've been involved in this, i always worry about people with different abilities.
and i think if you tour some of these work centers f and i would tour two or three, just go back home, and it seems to me in wisconsin we have about one for over county. next time you are back in michigan i would ask you to spend one or two hours at a couple of these work centers or what used to be called shelter workshops, look at people who work there, as well as the employees who work there, and think what happens if we take some people kind of out of the game between age 22 and age 25. would you do that for me? you wouldn't regret it. >> i would welcome that opportunity. >> okay. now we are on to the next question. i would like you, i'd like to thank you for taking the stand and trying to reduce the department's budget by $7.7 billion. and i'll give you a question i asked at the prior hearing. >> i don't expect you to know the answer but i want you to
guess. do you know how much the federal government is borrowing at the current year's budget? >> i heard this figure the other day. but i'm sure you know. the current year's budget? 15%. >> over 20%. 22%. and it's so easy to not care about the next gn ration. so many people in this building don't care at all about the next generation or the grandchildren down the line. they just love to post pictures and say they want to spend more money now. but i thank you for being one of the few people hang pg around washington who does care about their children and grandchildren. and i appreciate you making a modest 10.8% cut. do you know how that cut is going over in the prop ratiappr committee? >> well, i know many of the recommendations have not been adopted by the appropriators.
but that doesn't mean we shouldn't attempt to do the right thing on behalf of taxpayers and stay focused on the core mission. >> not only taxpayers, on our children and grandchildren, right? >> i have seven now, so i like that. >> congratulations. that's wonderful. i'm glad you want to protect them p as you are finding out now you are in washington, all kinds elected firms are not as caring as you are. would you say then there is a disagreement between the trump administration and the republican congress as to how much money we should be spending in the next year? >> well, i think i would encourage members of congress to think in the big picture and broader term a lot more than it seems to happen. >> would you say it's accurate to say that the trump administration is looking out for the children and grandchildren, it's about time the republican appropriations committee got with the program? >> i think there are some lessons to be learned and i this
i we should be cognizant of the future and what the implications are for kids and our grandkids. >> don't be afraid to set up appointment with some of those appropriators and try to get them in shape. thanks much. >> thank you mr. grothman. you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. yesterday was 20th anniversary for shooting in oregon where he walked into the high school and killed parents and killed 2 students. the community is still grieving. you said they would be out by year end. it's only may. students today are telling me that they walk into a classroom and the first thing they do is it look for where they can hide and how they can "e" scape. i want to join ranking member scott and others calling for hearing but on behalf of alexander and all the students marching for their lives, will
you please ekxpedite the work o the commission? >> we are working quickly to do the work of the commission. and as i said in the opening statement, i have experimedirec department to do things under the rule om na busz bill that expands funding for. and we encourage schools to take advantage of that opportunity today. >> i hope we see meaningful recommendations soon. with regard to higher education, states play an active role in protecting their residents from predatory, unfair practices. and over the last few years states have recognized need to take action regarding student loan services requiring them to be licensing and enforcing protections. they said they are preempted by federal law which would restrict the ability of the states to protect residents. in your opinion are they doing a dpood job? and as someone who talks about
states rights, isn't the interpretation inconsistent with your position on states rights? >> thanks for that question. federal student said a federal program and as such has federal oversight attendant to that. we believe it's important for that to be consistent and if we had 50 different states with 50 different approaches to oversight, it would be a very confusing and convoluted process. as long as federal student aide is a federal program, we believe the federal level has the pron rate oversight responsibility. >> and secretary devos, that response is quite concerning. >> and i urge you to read the bipartisan letter which i would like to with unanimous consent place into the record. it's a letter that i wrote. >> without objection. >> with love stating that you should please reconsider your decision, scores of states attorney generals, governors and state banking regulators all
agree states should be table to protect their own residents. will you commit to sending a timely response to that letter? >> yes, i'll. >> thank you. the every student succeeds act, congress recognizes value of the enrichment grant program. we funded the program at $1.1 billion for fiscal year 2018. recently you stated in the house appropriations hearing that the program is worth revisiting giving the areas of education and flex ability to school district. so i agree with that. so one of your key responsibilities as a cabinet secretary is to advise the president. unfortunately this program has been zeroed out not once but twice in the president's proposed budgets. so will you commit that you will advocate for this program and its funding to the president so he does not again target it for elimination? >> i commit that we are advocating for a budget that builds in a lot of flexibility to the state and local level. and that funds can be used in a
broad array of activities and programs. i believe states and local communities are best equipped to make the decisions about what's right for their students under their purview. so we will continue to advocate for that flexibility to the state level. >> and again this is a program that has bipartisan support and i encourage robust funding. following up on representative polis question, just recently lbgt students in oregon were bullied and forced to read the bible in public high school in rural oregon. is is your office of stifel rights investigating? >> if a complaint is brought to our attention, we will certainly look at it and see if that falls under the pursue of our office. >> thank you. and finally you submitted a story about shirley and her daughter she was afraid of being bullied so the mom was trying to earn money for her to go to private school. i was looking at the next page of your testimony where you went
to that school and spoke with families. maybe they need better anti-bullying program. maybe their class rs too crowded. maybe there is led in the water. make they need a wrap around services for students in poverty. if your responsibility is to all students, why isn't that part of your story? >> it was a very touching story about shirley who has been working extra jobs in order to afford pt right place for her child to go to school. and i cited as an example of the desire of all parents to have their child go and learn in an environment that works for them. >> i do encourage you to go visit that school that you were talking about and find out why that daughter was afraid. because most of the students in this country attend public schools. we should be focusing and someone who has a responsibility for all students, you should be focusing also not just on one student but all of the students who attend that school and try
to determine what we can do to help all of the student. thank you. i yield back. >> thank you. mr. louis, you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chair and thank you mad dam secretary for joining us at today's hearing. i also want to talk a little bit about the department's 2014 school discipline guidance. and i commend my democrat colleagues for their passion on this issue. so far much of my work on in committee has focused on juvenile justice and reaching troubled kids early to help them get back on track. rooting out discrimination, combatting the school pipeline or goals that i certainly have and goals that we share and should vigorously pursue. however, i also believe discretion must be afforded to the teachers and leaders in our schools to build positive school cultures and maintain safe productive classrooms and succeed in the educational mission. turning a blind eye to miss behaviors is not doing any of our kids any favors.
so mad dam secretary, my question is this, under the 2014 guidance, even a school policy that is neutral, implemented evenly to all students and deemed academically necessary would be considered unlawful if federal officials decide they prefer a different policy. do you think the federal government is properly equipped to set such a school or classroom management and safety policy? or are these decisions better left to the teachers, straight ors who know the needs of their school and their community? >> thanks, congressman for that question. this is a really important issue. and one that i think we all share the ultimate goal on, and that is students are able to learn in an environment that is enhancing for all of them. this is it an issue that we are looking closely at and under consideration on. and we need to ensure that students are treated justly and fairly.
and it is not tolerable if a student of one color is disciplined more harshly than a student of another color for the same infraction. and we know the data also shows disparities. but the broader issue is the question of what is ultimately right for each and every individual student and protecting their rights. so looking at it very closely, and more on that later. >> let me just quickly drill down a little bit on that. has schools across the country look as this guidance, this discipline guidance and decide how to remain in compliance, what would a school have to do to ensure their policies would not be found unlawful under the current guidance or the previous guidance as i should say, as we just discussed having neutral policies and applying them to all students may not be enough to ensure compliance. so the only defense is get the numbers down or achieve some
sort of statistical disparity by any means necessary. and that's a concerning consequence of the 2014 guidance and can certainly lead to lowered expectations, could it not? >> well, this gets right at the heart of the issue. and one that points to the fact that this is an important subject to be addressed and issue to be addressed. and so we are looking at it and will be continuing to share as we decide how to move forward on the existing guidance. >> are you engaged right now in proper notice and comments rule making and so forth from local officials? >> we are taking input from a wide variety of individuals, yes. >> and some of those comments. >> yes. >> so far are? >> there is it a lot of intensity on both sides of the issue. but i would say all with the common goal in mind, and that is what's going to help students
learn. >> it seems to me this pertains to school safety as well is this. >> it does indeed. >> and mission should be foremost in everyone's minds. thank you for coming here today. and i yield back. >> thank you mr. louis. mr. chicano you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. i represent the state of california where corinian colleges imploded leaving students with mass amounts of debt. many of those defrauded were student veterans who spent down their hard earned gi benefits. madam secretary, can't we read the passage of forever gi bill that restored gi benefits to student veterans as a recognition by congress that corinian colleges and itt tech defrauded our student veterans? >> thanks, congressman. >> we are continuing to move forward on student claims that
these institutions did defraud them. and where there has been demonstrated instance of fraud, those student debts are being forgiven accordingly. >> so you do read the passage of the gi bill and the provision that restored the gi bill benefits to those veterans as a recognition by congress that veterans were defrauded, students were defrauded by these institutions? >> yes. i know that there have been students defrauded. >> yes. >> as i said earlier, fraud is not to be tolerated. >> thank you. do you agree that the borrowers defense to repayment rule was designed to protect students from this sort of fraud, including the many student veterans who also took out loans on top of their gi bill benefits? >> i know that they were those that rule was put forward to protect students, in general. and veterans as part of that
category. >> it would include the veterans. thank you i appreciate your answer. in december you significantly weakened the borrowers defense rule by changing the amount of relief a student could receive. and this hurts student veterans as well as other student borrowers, especially low income. and under your rule someone working full time federal minimum wage earning $15,000 a year they could possibly receive a partial relief, only a partial relief from debts they incurred. now i find that this week enning of the rule, provision of the rule to be direct contradiction with the passage of the gi bill which restored full gi bill benefits to defrauded student veterans. do you think a rule that only gives minimum wage workers half the money is doing a good job of protecting students? >> i think we have a responsibility and our taking the responsibility seriously to ensure students have been defrauded are recognized and relieved accordingly.
>> thank you. >> and there is a process for all of the claims that have been put forward. >> thank you. well, you are aware that the original rule that you revised would have given full relief to students, low income students as well as our student veterans, right, the original rule, thaegs original rule? >> i am aware of that. >> okay. well, i want to move on to talk about the department of student federal student aide new payment card pilot program. dr. johnson, mr. patrick foxx and surely all have matters in the mastercard. >> i'm confident in the team that is tasked with implementing this pilot program that the
appropriate delineation of duties are in place. and that we are going to advance the program. >> would you agree these particular individuals who had recent close ties to those institutions, if they were to be involved in with the program, that would be a conflict of interest? >> all of those who work within the department of education take their ethics agreements very seriously and are bound to them and operate accordingly. >> i find your answer not really responsive. but let me move on. have these three people recused themselves for decision making process? >> as i said, all of the individuals within the department take their ethics agreements. >> i take you responsibility won't respond to my question. i'll move on. will you commit to providing evidence of their recusal to this committee? >> as i said, i am confident. >> i take your answer as no. can you testify today that the pilot program will not be implemented by the best connected firm but by the firm
that will best serve our students? >> the pilot program will be implemented accord gs to the processes and procedures set out within federal student aide to ensure an objective conclusion and a ward for the program. >> thank you, madam secretary for your time today. i appreciate you are here before our committee. thank you. >> thank you, mr. ta can a. mr. phonic, you are recognized five minutes. >> thank you. thank you for being here today. i'll have three questions that i'll go through fairly quickly. the first is on the perkins loan program. as you are aware congress has decided not to extend this loan program despite widespread support from members of this committee and majority of the house for bipartisan bill that i introduced with representative pocan. i've been hearing a lot of concerns from campuses in my district about the lack of clarity of the process for winding down this program. specifically, colleges are concerned over how the federal share of the revolving fund will
be determined and equally important at what point in this process are schools going to be required to surrender those funds. could you speak to the process of winding down the perkins loan program? >> thanks, congresswoman. we touched on this briefly. and i have gotten more information about the fact that in the wind down our team is working closely with the institutions to ensure that they have clarity around the process and that students know what their alternatives are at the conclusion of this program. to be clear, those in the program as it exists will see their way through to the completion of the program. and there will be other alternatives and opportunities for students and for the institutions involved currently that we are working with them to ensure they have that clarity. >> great. and i just want to continue to encourage the department to make this process as easy as possible
for our higher ed institutions to make up for the loss of this program. my second question is i want to reference in your opening statement you discuss the need to offer students in failing schools the option to receive a better education. aen that zip codes and family wealth should not determine a student opportunity. i represent one of the largest districts on the east coast, and one of the most rural districts. we do not have charter schools like our neighbors in new york city. and i actually represent very, very few communities that even have a private or parochial school. so there are challenges that we face. and public school system is incredibly important community center and basis for educational system. on friday, i vitsed ar giel central school. ar giel is it a small school in washington county and had the opportunity to meet with amazing art teacher who led up the
program for 40 years. i want to hear what your ideas are rural innovation, how can we take our best and brightest teachers and ensure schools in rural district like mine have in accessed to addition tal ap classes. i'd love to hear your ideas on rural innovation. >> thanks for that question. i think sometimes when we think about rural areas, we think of choice in terms of added infrastructure. and i like to encourage those from rural areas and engaged in them to think more broadly about how different choices can be introduced. and i think about students perhaps in this ar giel school who may want to pursue ap course that doesn't have enough students to warrant a teacher or impossible to offer. we know there is probably a very capable and highly qualified instructor that could teach that course to that student remotely or virtually. and perhaps there is a small
cadre of students within that school that learn differently than the other students. perhaps there could be a sort of a little sub charter school that actually colocates within the school to meet the needs of those stud entents who learn differently while still maintaining the community feel of that particular building. i think we have to be open to thinking more broadly and creatively about how different students needs and desires for study can be met and do it within the context of what works for a community. >> yes. i appreciate that. i do think looking at exceptional teachers like rick flurry for example the art teacher i was discussing, making his expertise available to other public school systems in my region, that would be a way to strengthen education, and that's one example. there are lots of other examples of amazing teachers. my third question is related to actually the other side of my district from where ar giel is.
i represent fort drum home to deployed unit in the army. so we have thousands of military families in the north county. those military families are served by the indian river and school districts. and our community is reliant on impact aide which is important po for the families. when i talk to the family they think it's a strength of our community that the public school system, integrated with nonmilitary families. can you talk about the importance of impact aide? i am many concerned about some of the proposals that would upset this unique ecosystem that we have in the north country in new york. so i'd love to hear about about impact aide is important to support and what the department's plans are when it comes to this program and funding? >> thanks for that question. impact aide does have a great import for those communities that have a lot of military connected families. and this administration remains
committed to ensuring that those funds and that support is there for those families. at the same time, we know that there are many military families who today say that they are making decisions to continue inactive service and active duty based on whether they'll be able to be living in a place they feel confident of and comfortable of the school options, education options for their children. so i think we have to think, again, more broadly about how can we ensure that we meet the needs of those families and give military connected families more choices in their children's education. and at the same time, respect the communities that these bases are located in. and, again, have both, provide options for the families that really need and want t and ensure that the schools and the communities that are currently serving others well, continue.
>> thank you. i'll continue to support imact aide. it's important to fund the program. it works in my district. i think it's important. and thank you for answering the equals. i yield back. >> the time has expired. miss adams you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chair, and secretary devos, thank you for being here. madam secretary, i along with ranking member scott and congressman bud greensboro sent you a letter dated may 8 how best to administer funds appropriated to the capital financing program in fiscal year 2018 for deferment and modification of loans. just a quick question. did you receive the letter? we haven't received a response. >> i did. >> okay. are you going to respond? >> yes. >> thank you. okay. you know, i'm sure that the fiscal year 2018 omnibus
included a provision appropriating $10 million i meant to say i'm sure you know that since you got the letter for the program to defer loans for schools that met certain criteria in relation to their fiscal standing. and its our hope this deferment will help the institutions struggling to make payments and provide them with a necessary relief from their loan payments. we have approximately 5 to 7 that need these deferments in place by end of their fiscal year which is june 30th. i think i can speak for ranking member scott and congressman bud when i say that we fought thr this provision to be included. because there was a pending emergency. and we expected and hoped that the department would administer it immediately in a way that would benefit all the institutions in distress, not just one. but i'm hearing that the department is pursuing a plan that would not allow all the schools that qualify for the deferment to benefit.
the suggested rationale was capital finance payment it is typically are around $2 million and the government is not promising that after fiscal 2018. so my question is would you commit to ensuring equity ibly o we don't have closures? will you commit to working with us to ensure that any school that fits the criteria listed in the bill and applies in time for deferment gets one? >> we are working on this carefully now. and i commit that we are going to see the intention of the edition of the omnibus, see it through, and are committed to supporting hbcu in their mission. >> thank you very much for saying that i certainly hope that you that you will look at that particularly as it looks to this date of june 30th. it is extremely critical. these schools offer so much to
our institutions. let me follow up on mr. takano's comments to you and the questions. and i'm curious about what the rationale for these cards are? >> i'm sorry? >> the cards. he talked to you about the student loan disbursements and the cards. >> cards? >> okay. let me just move on and back up and ask you a question about the charlotte school of law. because during the past year the charlotte school of law, the students did lose out. we did send a letter asking support for those students and i don't believe they really got the kind of support that they needed in terms of the payments
in getting their money back and so forth. would you comment ton that? >> well, if the students have made application for forgiveness of their loans, they are certainly in process. but if they have not made application, we can't obviously consider that. so i assume that all of those students that sought relief have done so, have made application, and we are working on and committed to considering each of them. >> well, that really has not been the case for a lot of these students. and i who ep that hope as we mo forward, the school was closed and they did not have their opportunity to get their day in court. and we need to make sure that all of these students get that opportunity. and i'm going to yield back my time, if there is time i yield it to mr. scott, madam chair.
>> i'd just like to ask you what the purpose of measuring subgroup performance is? >> sir, i think the purpose for measuring subgroup performance is to continue to encourage and challenge schools and districts to close achievement gaps for high expectation. >> how can the purpose be fulfilled in your ranking schools and not including subgroup performance? >> the summative rating was not a part of the essa law. so if that's what you are referring to, around the subgroup performance, i think it's a little conflation of law what a state chooses to do to help parents know and understand how their children's schools are
doing. >> the gentleman's time is expired. mr. mooney you are recognized. >> madam secretary, thank you for your public service and for being with us today. it shows the great leadership that you've brought to the department and willingness to confront these tough issues. we have seen so many demonstrable positive results from the parent choice movement all across the country places as diverse as washington d.c. and our state of florida. 1.7 million children in florida are in parent choice schools and tax credit program for them grew 26% last year. with these kind of successes, what can we do to expand parent choice all around the country? >> well, thanks congressman for that question. and florida is a prime example of having done the hard work of reforming education meaningfully now almost 20 years ago. and it was a multi-pronged approach really. it provided multiple options for
choices. it empowered parents with choices through a tax credit scholarship program and through a couple of programs that are focused on students with disabilities. their parents be able to choose a better school or different school for them. it also took into account that parents need information when making decisions. so it started grading schools in an a through f system. it set forward the requirement that students be able to read by the end of grade three at that level. and retain them if they weren't able to knowing that going forward you learn to read through third grade and then read to learn beyond that. and it also gave a lot more flexibility and autonomy to individual school buildings and leadership. it also set in place a merit pay system for teachers to award those teachers who are doing an
excellent job of educating their students. and so it was really a comprehensive approach. and the results have borne out. florida's focus on what needed to be an addressed. the latest results demonstrate that. florida the only state in the nation where those performing at the bottom actually improved. as well as those performing at the top. >> thank you, madam secretary. i have a question about the prosper act. it appears that taxpayers were on the hook for some $36 billion in defaulted student loans. among other many important provisions prosper act will consolidate these student loan programs and cap the method they students and their parents could borrow. what can we do to avoid this massive default and cost to the taxpayers and will prosper help? >> well, this is clearly a really big issue that is going to need to be contended with in
a much more comprehensive way long-term. the student loan portfolio today is $1.4 trillion. and it keeps growing at the rate of over $100 billion a year. students need to be able to go and enter their education beyond high school with eyes wide open about what it is they are getting into and what they are taking on. they need more information. and they need to also have more information about the results of what they are pursuing. and i think we can enhance all of those things. and we have a need to do that. >> that gets to my last question. some of them might be better if they didn't go to college in the first place and did something different called cte. we have 6 million unfilled jobs in in country that require serious skills. and the graduation rate for people in cte programs is 93% versus national average graduation rate of 80.
i just wonder how we can redirect more money and focus and emphasis to exploit the trends and provide more cd opportunities for student who may not need the university education. >> i think a good start for that is for the senate to reconsideration perkins act, update of that act which this body has already done. we need to provide a lot more flexibility to states and local communities around how they meet these needs and how they encourage students in the multitude of pathways that really should be available to them to pursue. dual enrollment opportunities starting in high school. and really exposing students to some of these great opportunities as early as middle school giving them a taste of what those are like. and introducing more earn and learn opportunities so students enter a workforce prepared to do really meaningful job, and do so without debtor little debt.
those are all things that we have to continue to strengthen and enhance the opportunities for. >> thank you for being here and doing all you are doing for our country. >> thanks, congressman. >> ma dom secretary, we were told we would vote around 1210 to 12:20. with your indulgence we'd like to go a little longer. what i'm hoping is to use your time as wisely as possible. so i'm going to recognize miss rochester in hope that we will get word on votes so again we can coincide our break with the votes, if you are comfortable with that. >> sure. thanks. >> miss blunt you are recognized. >> thank you. i'm going to start off with a yes-or-no question to follow up
on miss stephanic question. do you support mr. banks amendment to the ndaa that would turn the impact aide program into a voucher? >> just a yes or no. >> i'm not going to answer it yes or no. >> you can say yes or no or i don't know. >> i support the concept of giving military families more options and choices. but the vehicle of using an impact aide funding stream is not one that i support and the administration supports. >> thank you. as you know, the department of education through the rehabilitative services administration has an important role to play in the employment of people with disabilities. and i just wanted to clarify, i thought i heard you state earlier in your testimony that you haven't reached a conclusion on competitive integrated employment. so i wanted to give you an opportunity to clarify, did you say that you haven't yet reached a conclusion? and if you have, would you state for the record your intention of maintaining the definition of
competitive integrative employment upholding the statutory integrity of that? >> i have not reached a conclusion on this question. >> thank you. and then my next question is the individuals with disabilities education act requires students to be educated as much as possible in the least restrictive environment or lre. this means educated with their same age peers in the general education classroom to the maximum extent possible. do you believe student should be educated in the general education classroom to the maximum extent possible? >> yes, i do. >> and would you commit to the guidance on lre? >> i am committed to ensuring that students have every opportunity to achieve what they can and that we should expect as much as possible of every student. >> do you believe that the segregation of students with disabilities is a civil rights issue? and if so what do you feel the
obligation of your department is to ensure that we are following the law and providing equitable educational opportunities for all students including students with disabilities? >> i'm committing to enforcing the law as congress has written it. >> and the last part of my questioning, i would like to focus on significant disproportion alt rule. and i think mr. lewis was asking questions about the comments. and based on the quick analysis of equity regulation, notice of proposed rule making that recently closed, we understand that more than 85% of the comments opposed a delay, while less than 10% support a delay. will you commit on the record to maintain the timeline for the equity and idea regulation? >> i have not reached that conclusion yet. it's still under consideration. >> and i guess one of the broader questions i have is,
could you talk more specifically about what you are doing to close the racial discipline gap among students with disabilities. >> this is it, as, as i said be this is a matter i take seriously and we need to make sure we get it right on behalf of all students. we have a goal of treating students as individuals and ensuring that they have the opportunity to pursue their education to the greatest extent possible. >> this is it probably one of the areas i saw recent report that came out of your shop. i saw a report that came out of i think it was harvard law school in aclu that said that black students with disabilities lose about 77 more days of instructional time due to suspensions compared to their peers, their white peers with disabilities. and i'm really concerned, you know, about upholding the
protections for all students with disabilities, and particularly students with disabilities of color. and, you know, as we look as miss identification, being placed in restrictive settings or over discipline, and what we really hope to hear from you and your department is a real vision and commitment and also accountability on our protecting those vulnerable student. and with that i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you, miss blunt. mr. banks, you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chair woman. and thank you secretary devos for being here today. if we could elaborate a little longer about the subject that's come up a couple of times in the last 15 minutes about the military education savings accounts. is there a difference between an education savings account and a voucher? >> thanks, congressman for that question. >> can you explain that? >> yes, indeed quite a bit of
difference. a voucher, as you know, education savings accounts are two different mechanisms. and the funding for them is handled differently. a voucher in the case of stated. a voucher in the case of state programs is an amount that goes to families to choose where a child goes to school. an education savings account is an account put in place for a family for a student from which a family can draw down for education services and supports, whether it's at one school or a multitude of different resources for their educational experience. >> is it the proper role of the federal government to support our military families perhaps by creating education savings accounts for those families specifically? >> i think it's a necessity that we look at ways we can support our military families and give them a lot more options. i personally think an education savings account is a great way
forward for that to happen. >> can you provide us with a little more background on why our military families more than almost any other family in america today might be deserving of education savings accounts? >> our military families sacrifice a lot in service to our country. we also know that our military families make many, many moves. and the disruption for their children over the course of that career can be very painful. in some cases, it can be good. i've talked to many children of military parentins who say thei growing up was a great experience. but we need to be sensitive to military families' needs. and we have to support the fact that we have invested much into these individual to help them become highly trained and capable in whatever role they have within the military. and to lose individual prematurely because they are not able to make education choices
for their children that work for their children is just a travesty and something we have to address. >> so it's fair to say today that the ndaa aside, it is the position of yours aelf and the administration that you would like to find an avenue to create education savings accounts for military families? >> yes, indeed. >> we have 70 cosponsors to a piece of education. i disagree with my colleagues who don't understand how minu minuscule a .1% of a difference. to hear you and just to clarify once again, you're committed to finding an alternative solution where we can work together to do that? >> i look forward to do so. >> i heard many ror. rooney brat
the state of florida. i've got to brag about the state of indiana. >> indeed you do. >> with the largest voucher program in the country and more than 90 charter schools, my state has led the way when it comes to school choice. more than 35,000 students are using the indiana school scholarship program to attend the school that best fits their needs. these initiatives have been accompanied by record levels of achievement on the naep proficiency test in reading and science and increased scores in math. as i've already heard you talk about today a little bit, maybe you could expand in the minute that i have left. what more can this committee do to work with you so that other states can follow indiana's lead and provide that type of progress for their students and their states? >> thanks, congressman. indiana is indeed a leader and should be a model for states
across the country to emulate. i think what this committee and frankly what this congress can do is to continue to encourage and urge their state leadership to adopt programs like indiana h has, like florida has and to expand on them. even with the best programs, there's still unmet demand. another thing that this body can do is to support from a federal level more choices without mandates to states, but more choices and more flexibility in funds that flow from the federal level to enhance programs already going on in the various states. >> thank you. my time has expired. >> thank you, mr. banks. secretary, we do have a call to go vote. we have three votes. it will probably take us about 30 minutes. what i'd ask is that members return no later than five
minutes after the beginning of the third vote so that we can end in a timely fashion. we have self-members who still would like to ask questions and we invite everyone to come back. we will go through everyone who wants to ask a question. we thank you very much for this morning. >> thanks. >> the meeting will be suspended in the five minutes after the third vote. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]