Skip to main content

tv
Betsy DeVos
Archive
  Secretary Betsy De Vos on 2019 Education Budget Request  CSPAN  June 5, 2018 10:00pm-11:52pm EDT

10:00 pm
>> betsy devos appear before the subcommittee and faced questions about the budget request proposed cuts and programso certain particularly the pell grant and federal work study. runs 1:15.g > appropriations subcommittee on labor, health and human services
10:01 pm
education and related agencies will come to order. please, secretary devos, you are here with us today. thank you for appearing to talk about your budget and to answer our questions. the 2019 budget request from the department is 11% less than the money that the congress appropriated for fy '18 in march to the department's credit you proposed eliminating and consolidating program that is aren't working effectively and we'll want to look at those very carefully with you. the budget also includes a $1 billion new competitive grant program for states and school districts to expand their choice programs. certainly, i appreciate the perspective the new look you have brought to the department. i agree that we should look at programs that are either
10:02 pm
inefficient or ineffective and prioritize programs that work the best for students. we have a shared priority. your department and the committee certainly on s.t.e.m. education. i'm interested in hearing more about how you think the department can support s.t.e.m. education including computer science education and what we can do in schools around the country and i think you will find we'll be particularly interested in rural schools that may not be where we would like them to be in that competitive environment. the omnibus included $50 million in dedicated funding for evidence-based s.t.e.m. education programs. i want to certainly work with you and our committee does with the department to continue and support and expand that effort. also interested in working together for post-secondary education more accessible and affordable for all students.
10:03 pm
two years ago, we were able to reinstate in our appropriating bill with the cooperation of our authorizers year around pell grants. i just spent some time in missouri at the end of the last college year talking about this being really the first summer where schools could plan and students could plan for year around pell. we think there are about 20,000 more students on campus this summer in missouri and about a million students nationwide because they have the potential to continue to make the pattern that's working continue to work. you know, if you're paying your way through college, working your way through college, maybe the first person in your family that's either attending or trying to graduate from college, having a pattern that works makes a big difference. you know, i went to college first person in my family to
10:04 pm
graduate from college. frankly, as several people on this committee also are, and i went in three years and three summers as i recall it took 124 hours of credit to graduate. i had 124 hours of credit. not one extra credit or one extra day. the best way, of course, to keep college costs down is to get done and i think a lot of schools have responded to your year around pell being sure that they have bachelor's degree programs that can realistically be completed if that's what a student wants to do in a shorter period of time. we have looked at what happened with year around pell. we increased pell grant through the committee last year by 3% to $6 095. your budget is predicated of $5,920.
10:05 pm
i think we'll continue the other number and look for the authorizing committee, the chairman and ranking member of which are on either side of me to see their forward view on pell grants and other assistance programs. many of the proposals you suggest eliminate programs. i think some of that can be done. i hope we can look at it cafuy with you, but i think it's likely that the committee will look at the work weust completed, and the large formula grant programs are not likely to be eliminated. not likely to support the elimination of impact aid for federal property though this administration would not be the first one to suggest that impact aid could be looked at in another way. there's some small targeted programs like special olympics and arts in education that, again, while the size maybe looks like they don't make a lot
10:06 pm
of impact it would make a lot of impact if you eliminated them and i think our committee wants to think long and hard before we did that. and finally, secretary devos, i want to acknowledge your efforts to realign the department of education's role in the education system. i believe, as many of the members of the senate and house do, that decisions shouldn't -- whenever they can be made closer to students and their family and local school districts that's where those decisions should be made. it's hard enough to make a decision in a state capital that impacts an entire state as opposed to decisions in washington, d.c. that impact the entire country and your efforts to try to look for ways that more of those decisions can be made closer to where kids and their families are and where adult students are going to school are -- is a wonderful thing for us to be talking
10:07 pm
about. look forward to your testimony today and the discussion that will follow that. and i'm pleased now to recognize my good friend senator murray. >> thank you. thank you, chairman blunt. thank you, secretary devos, for joining us today. it's been 16 months since you were confirmed as secretary of education and you were confirmed despite millions of students and parents and teachers around the country who spoke up in opposition to your extreme ideological commitment to privatizing public education and who were concerned about your lack of experience in educating or advocating for our public schools. unfortunately, instead of takings those concerns to heart, you've doubled down on your harmful agenda and filled your department with for-profit college executives and lobbyists looking out for former employers and clients, and that couldn't
10:08 pm
be clearer looking at the budget you're here to defend today. secretary devos, since confirmed we have seen a barrage of actions out of the department that hurt both students and taxpayers. you continue to privatize extreme privatization agenda which would siphon taxpayer dollars away from public schools, you're ignoring part of the k-12 law, every student succeeds law for equity in the schools. you've made it easier for predatory for profit college and student loan companies to take advantage of our students by rolling back a number of consumer protections and effectively dismantling the unit that actually investigates claims of fraud and abuse and you have taken a number of concerning steps to undermine civil rights protections for our students. including attempting to scale back the office of civil rights, rescinding guidance protecting transgender students, making it easier for schools to once again sweep sexual assault under the rug saying it's a local decision to call i.c.e. on undocumented
10:09 pm
students and so much more. so let me turn to the budget you're proposing for next year and i'll really disappointed how similar this budget looks to what you proposed last year than commite soundly rected. after years of budgets for education, not keeping up with our needs, we are now seeing teachers and parents around the country organizing and standing up for public education. because our kids shouldn't be forced to learn in crumbling classrooms with shabby textbooks and teachers should be paid fairly for the important work they do. and yet with this budget once again you're ignoring what millions of parents and teachers and students are asking for. and you've instead proposed more than $4 billion in cuts to elementary and secondary education. your budget would eliminate programs that grow and improve skills, grants that support before and after school programs and investments that support low
10:10 pm
income undergraduates and this budget is another example of an empty promise made by this administration to address the senseless gun violence devastating our families and our schools and our communities around the country. president trump has continued to give in to the demands of the nra. your gun safety commission yet to take any real action steps and now your budget would eliminate grants used to improve student safety for the second year in a row. after the tragic parkland shooting you said congress should hold hearings on gun and school safety, so in a show of good faith i urge you to commit to testify on what meaningful gun safety reform we can enact to help end the scourge of violence in the schools. finally, while your budget cuts $7.7 billion in education, you are proposing a $1 billion for programs that align with your programs that align with your personal agenda but are not authorized by the bipartisan
10:11 pm
every student succeeds act. a little more than two months ago congress rejected virtually the same proposals in the bipartisan spending bill. i have many questions for you this morning on why you once again put forth a budget that will hurt our students and families. i look forward to your responses this morning. thank you. >> so we have a -- we have votes at 11:00 that we'll continue the hearing through the two votes and we have a hard stop today at noon because of commercial travel. but we will certainly -- senator leahy said he would give up his time in return for us getting to questions quicker and glad to do that and, secretary, if you want to make your opening statement, we would be pleased to hear that. >> thank you, chairman blunt. chairman blunt, ranking member murray and members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to testify on the president's fiscal year 2019 budget request for the department of education.
10:12 pm
this budget sharpens and hones the focus of our mission. serving students by meeting their needs. when the department it was charged to prohibit federal control of education. i take that charge seriously. accordingly president trump is committed to limited government, fiscal discipline and reducing the fiscal footprint in education. the president's fiscal year 2019 budget would reduce overall funding for department programs by $3.7 billion or $5.6 from fiscal year 2017 enacted levels and $7.6 billion or 10.8% below the fiscal year 2018 enacted level. this budget was prepared prior to the two-year cap deal and the omnibus for that matter, so the administration submitted an addendum that restores valuable investments in students including impact aid, trio, school choice, federal work school choice, federal work
10:13 pm
study and pell. for program that is level funded in this budget request our intent was to maintain levels appropriated by congress. we used the numbers in place at the time and our intent remains the same for newly appropriated funds. this department's budget focuses on improving educational opportunities and outcomes for all students while also returning power to the people closest to students. first, we must promote a safe and healthy culture in our schools. the tragedies at indiana and santa fe high school in texas were only the most recent devastating reminders that our nation must come together to address the underlying issues that create a culture of violence. i've directed my dep artment to do everything within the law to encourage states and districts to take advantage of the flexibilities, so newly appropriated funds about $1.1 billion under title iv are most useful. second, our request for resources to achieve the president's goal of giving every student the freedom to attend a school that best meets his or
10:14 pm
her unique needs. the budget provides funding for this program new a new opportunity grants program that would expand the number of students who have the opportunity to attend a school of their choice. under this new program states could apply for funding for scholarships to students from low-income families that could be used to transfer to a local education agencies participating in the department's student centered funding pilot could request funds to build on the flexibility provided by establishing or expanding open enrollment systems. this way funds follow children based on their needs, not buildings or systems. in addition the budget request support for charter school providing an increase of $100 million for a total of $500 million and continues support for magnet schools. we are also proposing to expand use of direct student services to allow states to reserve up to 5% of their title i allocations to further expand educational
10:15 pm
freedom including helping students transfer to a school that better meets individual needs. third, the administration's request includes support for students with disabilities. our request for essentially k-12 formula grant programs support it is nation's neediest students, especially all programs authorized under the individuals with disabilities education act. fourth, our request creates more pathways to prepare workers to fill existing and newly created jobs as well as jobs of the future. expanding apprenticeships and reforming education and work force development programs will help more americans obtain relevant skills and enter high paying jobs. students should be able to pursue a variety of pathways to successful careers. to that end, the budget expands the use of pell grants for summer and certificate programs. it invests in career and technical education and streamlines student loan repayment. these proposals also support congressional efforts to
10:16 pm
reauthorize the higher education act to address student debt and higher education costs while reducing the complexity of student financial aid. fifth, our request supports s.t.e.m. education to help better equip students. consistent with president's memorandum, our request includes $200 million in new funding to support s.t.e.m. education while continuing to fund almost $330 million in discretionary grants. finally, our request reflects a number of proposals aimed at streamlining the department's internal organization and improving the department's services to states, districts, post-secondary institutions and the public. we recommend for instance a number of consolidations including proposals for the federal trio programs and the hea title iii and v programs so use the funds more effectively.
10:17 pm
the budget eliminates, streamlines or reduces funding for many discretionary program the budget eliminates, that do not address national needs, that duplicate other programs, ineffective or more appropriately supported with state, local or private funds. the budget reflects our commitment to spending taxpayer dollars wisely and efficiently. the federal government does not and cannot know the unique needs of each individual student in america. parents and teachers know their students best and know how their needs should be addressed. with this budget we can continue to return power to those who walk side by side with students every day. because that's who budgets are for. not for special interests, not legislators, not the system. this budget is about students. it's easy to get lost in the numbers and forget about the faces of students whom we have all pledged to serve. education can truly change the trajectory of a child's life. all they need is the chance to
10:18 pm
attain it. more students need the freedom to seek an education that unlocks their potential and allows them to pursue their passions. that is the focus of this administration and the focus of this budget. thank you for the opportunity to testify and i look forward to your questions. >> well, thank you, secretary devos. glad to have you and mr. cortis from the digit office there with you. let's talk about student safety. clearly, the idea that people go to elementary school and high school and any school anywhere with some sense that that bad things have happened in other schools and can happen in their school, what are we doing to try to minimize that likelihood? there's $22 million in the spending bill that you just got at the endf march for school safety. and what are you doing with that and what ideas do you have of other programs that we might
10:19 pm
allow more flexibility to use those programs like title ii and title iv as an example for school safety? the situation now, every parent, every grandparent, every citizen sees that as unacceptable. what can we do to encourage school districts for safety of kids at school? >> thank you for that question and i know we all share concern for students attending school each day. you know, feel for the parents who fear for their own children's safety. it is a focus of this administration. i know it's a focus of this body, as well. i would just broaden the question and the issue around the issue of the commission that the president has commenced and that i'm chairing to look at practices happening in states
10:20 pm
and some communities. we have been charged to look at issues to study and raise up best practices on to share more broadly. i think one of the most important things we can do is help others learn about what has been effective in a local community or in a state and encourage them to adopt some of these measures in their own communities or own states. i know many state legislatures are debating this topic and issue right now and formulating plans and policies that are unique to their situations. we know there's no one size fits all approach. we know that our geographies and our people are very dispersed and so we have to make sure that there are ample menu options to choose from for communities to consider ensuring that their school buildings, students are safe at school each day.
10:21 pm
>> are there things we can do to 22 million you have? you didn't have in the past for this purpose. are other programs to encourage those menu options funded when chosen? >> yes, indeed. also the title iv funds for which there's great flexibility. all part of the forward-looking focus of this commission and the recommendations. the result should have surprised exactly no one. eachnt top ensure that community is able to answer and unique tois situation their circumstance. >> i am sure others will come onk to that so let me move left.y and 1:30 i have on pell grants, you're talking
10:22 pm
grants to beg pell used for certification programs in theer programs that short time programs in the past we have not allowed pell grants to be used. am supporting of that. i would like to hear your those shorterhow term certification programs would be defined. defined and how pell grant eligibility would help prepare that work force. >> thank you. there are many opportunity force students to pursue shorter term program and certification and that will get them to the work force to a and track forh whatever their interests may be. and so, our proposal is to high quality short-term programs and do so in to puttion with congress the appropriate guardrails around that.
10:23 pm
acknowledging that students are different today than they were 20 on 30 years ago and to meet their needs and to the needs of the we could so dond so by recognize and allowing for innovations. interests ofhe the everybody being sure they get the questions in on the panel, the time limit car ply so i will enforce it on myself. so my time is up. murray? >> thank you very much, senator chairman. secretary devos, will start with you. you claim the office of civil efficient.e within new policy you have allows the civil rights to complains if it places unreasonable burden on ocr resource. onyou feel there is a strain resources, you should be asking congress for more funding to sure every student is protected. last year, you reduced the ocr throughaff at voluntary buyouts.
10:24 pm
doesn't that result in viewer staff to handle the workload? >> thanks for is question, senator. and before i answer that one, i make reference. >> , have a short amount of time. if you could answer me yes or not on that question and we'll hear the others later. want to know. >> the office for civil rights is very much focus on the two, has before it. they have been able to do so efficiency.s and am floyd work they have done and they ton address all complaints appropriately and will continue to do so. requestingu are purer resource. because of the burned it place on their efforts? >> we are committed to ensuring every students of are protected and the office is committed. >> , think its very clear fewer weources and fewer staff take fewer claim and protect
10:25 pm
fewer students that is not how ocr is supposed to operate. congress has taken very clear steps to address that shoe with our budget and spending bill we passed last year. democratss and rejected your proposed cuts and instead directed ocr staff to increase staff in order to effect ofly and timely and investigate the complaints. your staff would not provide specific information to our bipartisan bicamera appropriation staff during a briefing on the hiring plans. would you commit now to give back to the staff with funds, please. to get backappy with you on that. we're in the vose following the congress. intent of >> ok. we would like. >> we're committed to students protecting students. >> ok. staff refused to give us answers so we would like this and appreciate you getting k back to us. course. >> ok. during the april meeting with teachers of the year. you claimed the tapers a strikes
10:26 pm
oh coring around he country were expense of children those teachers throughout are fighting for new school supplies for the studentance classroom as there not falling appar and the theiries to support family on the salaries. do you think children benefit use outdatede to or the teachers work multiple jobs to make end's meet. i think students when they are not able to go to school because they don't have to teach.go to school that hurts. so my point has! that i hope adults will have their debates outside of time that impacts and affects students. well, we need to ensure that students are kept in center of question.n the whole >> well it takes money to pay teachers more. you keep trying to cut federal talkedpresidents as i about them in the opening statement. do you think children benefit from your proposals to cut from public elementary and secondary schools including funding to train teachers and
10:27 pm
underfunding grants for student and other issues and after school programs for almost two million studentsment do you from children benefit that? >> the budget is focused on helping students that need the keeping in mind the fact that the government is only 10% of the equation of schools.or bnd we head to stay foes can on what actually benefits students and we believe. >> all of those. i can tell you. member.a school board every dollar counts. finally, you are asking the student letters. national teacher of the year from the home state of washington. the national teacher of the year personally toit president trump and teaches english actually to refugees and one of theand students wrote to president trump. want to read it to you. refugeesyou don't want students in the hall at school tell me they don't want me here because i am a refugee. you can change this by day peoplegood things about look me. that was what a student said from the teacher of the year.
10:28 pm
do you think it would be good if the children president would say good things about students like those of our year?al teacher of the >> i had the purchase pleasure of meeting mandy and she is awesome teach every. think the work she does is so important and that i we need to continue to support her and all the counterparts. with, answer. >> do you think adults should be careful with their language pack it hat has on students like that i think we have an opportunity to be carele the president? >> all of us have the opportunity to be careful. >> thank. murray.s, senator senator langford. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> good to see you again. for the work you are doing for the kids and teachers around the country. appreciate the ongoing work. to ask you about a proposal that you have about dealing with students having parents having option wan district to be able toll choose different school district. this is different kind of discussion about school choice. happen to grow up in district
10:29 pm
that had four high schools in it. was lied even the time i went to high school to be able to pick whichever high skile wanted to be able to attend. the band. liked the band program. one of the high schools that was across town better than the one me so i hadser to the opportunity to be able to choose to drive across town and ande able to get there burdenp for my family and all of those things and i had to work for it is a issues but give me the option to choose that. na is what aim hearing from you. that is what aim hearing from you. talking about having that opportunity. >> thanks, senator. would say at the geng. fortunate. few districts there are some that offer that today we encourage districts to
10:30 pm
look seriously at opening up. through theproposal opportunity grant proposal and and also through the student fund the student waited .unding a wired range of schools within the district. encourage and we encourage states and school districts to lack at doing so. doesn't haveat wealth and transportation is a challenge for them. they want their kids to go to school in the
10:31 pm
does depend on what the needs of those districts are. transportation costs could be factored in in a variety of different accommodations to ensure that the student needs are met and that the disruption is minimized in the district. the idea of the proposal is to remain as flexible so that state and local districts can adopt the kind of approach any kind of support that will make -- work for them. >> i met with a group of african-american pastors and floated this concept to them. district in an urban in my state. i asked them how this would work
10:32 pm
for you and your parents. be glad to take any opportunity for my parents. to choose whatever school and district they want to be able to go to. as long as the school system is not forgotten. some students will not have that opportunity. do you envision there is still that focus to not leave anyone school behind? devos: i think the district implement in this well. that has been a high sensitivity for them. i think about indianapolis. they have done a really innovative job of addressing this. the is alongside some of then been schools really sensitive to what the needs of the whole district are. that opportunity is very much there. the proposal remains very flexible so that districts can address this issue.
10:33 pm
>> let me bring up one caveat. i know they're trying to be able to work together. ultimately we are preparing people for careers. that cooperation should be there. most other countries, education and labor are one entity in government rather than two. i would like to encourage continued cooperation as low between interior and education. our indian education continues to suffer around the country. there are some assets that you can bring to bear. i would encourage continued cooperation with interiors as well. >> thank you mr. chairman. welcome back to the subcommittee secretary devos. we regret that we are discussing a budget proposal that doesn't support all students.
10:34 pm
i will repeat was senator murray said but i totally agree with your statement. >> let me go into another area. you are the chair of school safety commission. this was formed after the school shooting important left 17 students and educators dead. her country is now averaging a school shooting each week. that is one day after the commission met last month. another 10 students were killed in santa fe, texas. i understand your commission intends to release recommendations by the end of the year. at firearms as relates to our schools. mrs. devos: it is an honor to serve emily this commission. we are focused on the 20 something different provisions. >> i understand it is a lot.
10:35 pm
i'm trying to give you a question that the answer yes or no. legal commission look at the role of firearms as relates to gun violence in our schools? >> that is not part of the commission charge. >> you are saying gun mounts but not concerning guns. >> we are starting school safety and how we can ensure students are safe. you are saying how much time is spent on video games and that. but in other video -- countries they spend just as much time. they only have a tiny fraction of the shootings that we do. the gun toys format sugars is an ar-15. do you believe in a two high school should be able to walk into a store and purchase an ar-15? hundreds of round of ammunition? mrs. devos: i know this body and your counterparts on the other side of the capital have
10:36 pm
addressed a number of these issues and i know you're going to continue to debate them. >> i'm trying to give you a question that can be answered yes or no. let me repeat it. do you believe and a general high school shouldn't -- student should be able to walk into a store and come out with an ar-15 us on weapon and hundreds of rounds of ammunition? mrs. devos: i believe that is a matter for debate. i know that has been debated within this body and will continue to be. our focus is on raising successful, proven techniques and approaches to ensuring schools are safe for students. are you looking at those other countries where the students have just as much time on social media and video games and everything else but have a gun violence in their schools? mrs. devos: we had a very
10:37 pm
important meeting in maryland in a school with a district that has employed an approach called pbi s. >> maybe i didn't make my question clear. are you looking at some of those countries where the students do just as much time on video games and just as much time on social media as we do? they do not have as much gun violence? are you looking at those all? that is yes or no. mrs. devos: no. >> we will look at gun violence in schools but not at guns. that is an interesting concept. i learned from after school programs in vermont. the families are struggling with opioids. the same can be said of every state. by you concerned that
10:38 pm
pulling over $1 billion in afterschool funding would be complicating recovery for the many families who depend on this? sen. leahy: this is for addiction. mrs. devos: we are very focused on this problem. identify43 million to and encourage replication of prevention programs. essentially -- senator leahy: that is on for the fund you have come from our students. mrs. devos: this is on flexible funds. we will look at students weather problems are more prevalent. we encourage the states to take
10:39 pm
that flexibility and apply it. >> madam secretary, welcome. studentr new every seeds at, replacing no child left behind, every state submitted plan to you for approval in order to receive $18 billion of federal funding for four. 1, 2 and i have questions on that. it has been suggested by some, not me that you are not following the law and approving those plans. how many state plans have been approved so? mrs. devos: 46 estate plans. >> do you believe it is a requirement of the law? should they use data on all students at each subgroup of students? mrs. devos: yes. do they propose to look at data from all students and each
10:40 pm
subgroup of students? mrs. devos: they do. >> do you believe it is a requirement of the law that they were underperforming subgroups? mrs. devos: yes. >> do they propose to identify schools with consistently underperforming subgroups? mrs. devos: yes. >> after the passage of every student succeeds at -- act, secretary duncan said our lawyers at the department of education are much smarter than many of the people who are working on this bill. are any of those smart lawyers still at your department? mrs. devos: they are. probably most of them. >> do those lawyers at the department agree that the plans that you have approved in all the requirements of the law? mrs. devos: they do. >> thank you. mrs. devos: -- had a lot of discussion about making it simpler for students to apply
10:41 pm
their federalat student aid. 100 billion most each year. 30 or so billion intel grants. it seems to me that applying for federal aid for college should be as simple as buying a plane ticket on your phone or buying a book with one click. this has been invented and we use it for all sorts of things. you have answered $50 million in the budget in order to modernize the system by which students apply for and pay back their federal financial aid. what can you tell us about that russian mark how do you plan to spend the money and why do you think you will be successful doing this when we were so whencessful in technology we dealt with the obamacare exchanges? mrs. devos: i am really excited about the effort to modernize
10:42 pm
that are student aid, both the process and the experience. we believe students should have a world-class experience when applying for and then subsequently paying down their student loans. the framework and infrastructure for this has not been modernized and has not been -- it has been passed over the 20 something years. our approach is to completely restructure and make that experience one that will be seamless for students. we completed the application on our smartphone and having the world-class experience we have expected to have on every other area of life. the confidence i have is that we that -- nsure whoave dr. wayne johnson comes from the financial services field with much
10:43 pm
experience and lots of entrepreneurial activity in that field. >> has he ever done it in like this before? mrs. devos: he has. some of you may recall that when you got credit cards in the mail, they came without an activation code because that is how it was done. , many of thoseh cards disappeared in the process of getting from the original -- origination point to your office. now we just go online doctorate. the hundred number was his invention. ubiquitouscome across the financial services industry. very forward thinking and a very deep knowledge of that field and that process and experience. we are committed to having the for asteps completed pilot test in july of this year. we will be able to in the fall
10:44 pm
-- hopefully by october 1 have the holding be able to roll out so that june if applications for the next school year will be able to be completed online and in one sitting. >> thank you. thank you for being here, secretary devos. to go back to an issue that was raised by senator lee 80. -- leahy. she says that it should be known that i am a student. this is theeen: first time i stayed up and i think extensively about how i would bet in a situation such as a school shooting. i at 16 years old should not have an intimate relationship with the idea of shootings but i do.
10:45 pm
so does everyone of my friends, so to my parents. so does my nine-year-old brother and so does the rest of the country. ones a problem that is unique to the united atesst school shootings in the u.s. occur at a scale far beyond any other major industrialized nation. 57ce 2009, the u.s. has had times more school shootings than the rest of the g7 countries combined. school shootings in the u.s. compared with two each in canada and france. one in germany and known in japan, italy or the united kingdom. the question that i have for you and -- are you going to be looking at this? what are these other countries doing to protect their schools from shootings? did he have fewer mentally ill people? are they arming their teachers or do they have more sensible
10:46 pm
gun laws? mrs. devos: these are very important questions in the whole context of talking about keeping schools safe and making sure students are safe in school. the commission that has begun its work is very much focused on the range of issues that we have been asked to address and focus on and it does get down to this cultureat is of violence, where does it come from? it really is the issue of violence. violence can manifest in several different ways. >> excuse me for interrupting. we have limited time. given that, it seems to me that you should think about reworking the mission of the commission so that it is also taking a look at guns and the roles that guns play in school violence. i would urge you to do that. i would like to move on to another topic. you said in your opening remarks that education can change the
10:47 pm
trajectory of a child's life. i very much believe that. i believe that going to a good school and having an opportunity for higher at patient provides opportunities that young people can get in no other way. that is why i am so puzzled about why your budget proposes cutting so many of the programs that help our students in new hampshire, the afterschool programs that help for college students, particularly first-generation college students. we heard from some students at the university of new hampshire, one premed student who said coming to college can only -- it can be very overwhelming. personally i do not have family members to guide me to college or tell me what to expect or what to do. we also have the second-highest student loan debt in the country.
10:48 pm
yet, your budget proposes cuts that will force students to take out even more loans to pay for school, you eliminate work-study programs. nominate -- eliminate subsidized loans for graduates. how should we tell students in new hampshire that they should be able to -- they will be able to afford college and go to good schools? very much: we are focused on ensuring that students that have the greatest need have also the greatest opportunity and this budget was predicated on making decisions around the parameters that we were given. programslly focused on that do me students that are in the greatest need, directly. some of the programs referred to are ones that have not been proven to be effective or were spread too thinly. >> do have reports that show they have been ineffective? mrs. devos: yes.
10:49 pm
there is data that demonstrates ineffectiveness there in that program. we would be happy to share that. >> i think we would appreciate seeing that information. on higher education, using the work-study program has not help students? >> we continue to proposes fundin for the peace that you are referring to -- this is the gradual piece of the program. making difficult decisions around where to focus the resources. a student gets to a graduate program, there are other opportunities and we are focused on trying to get the greatest number of students the opportunity to pursue higher education. that is why we suggested a short-term health program. assumptionke the that a four-year college or university is the right answer or the right pathway for every single student.
10:50 pm
my time is up, thank you. : thank you for coming senator devos. -- secretary devos. i want to you to show your plan for abilities applications that were discarded due to either dramatic work budget issues. this committee that the chairman blunt and others want to make sure the institutions like wb you and was written a state are not penalized for the minor errors in their applications. mrs. devos: thank you, we did have that conversation. the formatting issue was dealt with later last year. there were some other applications that had some issues with terry formatting and or some of the numbers. congress,rection of we have gone back and have opened a process to re-examine
10:51 pm
fortysomething applicants that fall into that category. do -- do you have a timeline on that? mrs. devos: i don't have the specific one but i would be happy to get that to you. >> in your remarks, you mentioned that a number of solid -- things are occurring. including title iii and title five. minority serving institutions, making them formula grants so that states may use the funds more effectively. can we talk about that a little bit? does that mean that the formula is down to the state to make that decision? is that how you envision that? why is that more efficient than it -- and a better way to deliver the funding than what we presently have smart quest let me go back to your previous question. have are on track to process for these fortysomething schools.
10:52 pm
it was to be done by the summer. with respect to your question about some of the programs that we have proposed for consolidation, all of these , about 90% of the funding goes to the same entities. we had a large process the -- within the department of education. it ends up granting these out to the same places. our proposal is to make that more efficient and recognize the what is. that is more of a block grant program. believe arewe closer to the institution and whetheretter handle on there is a entrance into the market that much he considered. also, how the existing ones are doing. that is our proposal to streline tha and make the
10:53 pm
process more effective and recognize what it basically is. >> i agree with the premise of giving the states the flexibility. i think that goes along with the every student succeeds at. my question is and i think the senator will perk up on this. whenever a her the formula funding. it only sounds like it will be population-based and for small estates, sometimes that can be detrimental to previous years. i would put that on your radar. >> the proposal would be for the states to get the same level of funding that that had previously. life that makes me feel better. on the apprenticeships, you and i talked about skills gaps. time, hehis all the busily can't have an economic conversation with businesses were fighting -- finding problems and the right skill set for the job of tomorrow and even today. this is a big concern for all of
10:54 pm
us. i'm interested in your expansion of the apprenticeship. i know that obviously, you all have that. what steps are you taking? are you working with the secretary of labor to expand this? are you working with the unions to expand this? if you could just talk about that aspect of it please. forceevos: sure, the task that president trump had put together just completed its report last month and submitted about three dozen different recommendations on how to expand this important opportunity and pathway. it is one area of import. switzerland later this week where i am attending an international forum on apprenticeship.
10:55 pm
i think this is an area where america can learn a lot from their model. almost 70% of the student in switzerland go to into apprenticeships of some sort. ofn we think apprenticeships, we think of a pretty narrow definition for them. i think these are areas that we have to get a lot more serious about. also, referencing back to the right of the apprenticeship task was, the group that really discussed the recommendation that brought them ford was a very robust combination of this leadership, labor leadership and higher education leadership, overly come together in a very unanimous and supportive fashion to say that these are programs and these are areas that we have to become much more and has a lot about supporting business to inform these new contortions and
10:56 pm
apprenticeship opportunities and then having the theoretical and instructional pieces come alongside and do so anyway that is going to be relevant and and able tostudents be flexible to change what needs to be changed in the work is. durbin? i think we both would agree that when students default on their student loans, there are many losers. the student, the students family, america's taxpayers and you might say other students were counting on that money coming back into the treasury for the generation to have a chance of higher education. i want to ask you a question and i'm going to give you multiple choice answers. here's the question. which group of colleges and in the role 9% of
10:57 pm
all postsecondary students, not percent of high school grads account for 33% of federal student loan defaults? here are your choices. public colleges and universities, private not-for-profit colleges and universities and for-profit colleges and universities. which one would you choose? mrs. devos: c. >> exactly right. can you expect to me why for-profit colleges and universities that enroll just 9% of high school graduates account for 33% of all federal student loan defaults? >> that is a serious issue. to getne that we have much more serious about looking at, both the opportunities for is ants and i think this much broader question than just what you are trying to get at.
10:58 pm
thatnts today need to know early on, before they even get into high school, a number of different options that they have to pursue -- works one class with fewer than 10% of the students and 33% of the student loan defaults -- it really has a problem that the other types of universities and colleges don't to some extent. here is what it comes down to as far as i am concerned. they are charging too much and providing too little. they are misleading the students into debt and enrollment and then casting them off. how can i say something as extreme as that? here's what the statistics show. fromut of three graduates for-profit colleges and universities make less money than their high school graduate counterparts would never attend university. they are not making much money. that three outut
10:59 pm
of four students from these types of for-profit colleges and universities are not able to pay one dollar on their federal student debt within three years of entering repayment. a lot is going on here. luckily for us, you have been in charge of a department which has investigated units that will keep an eye on these for-profit colleges and universities. they are being investigated by everybody. some of them are failing because of the abusive approaches that have used in their miss -- in -- r misleading here's the thing that troubles me. where you aware of the fact that the people you appointed to the enforcement unit to keep an eye on for-profit colleges and universities that are ripping off students and universities -- it turns out the head of the
11:00 pm
, julian smoak was a former dean at devry. one of the largest for-profit colleges and universities in my home state of illinois. it also turns out that robert i jones were former employees of bridgeport and career education for-profit college and universities themselves. for you aware of the fact that you are appointing people to the enforcement and investigative unit who had a conflict of interest because of their own private careers before they joined? unitdevos: the enforcement is very robust and functioning very well. of those individuals you just referred to are not part of the enforcement unit. that is erroneous information. twice we are very focused on ensuring that colleges and
11:01 pm
-- theities opportunities that students have our quality. on the to focus opportunities and the outcomes for students. >> 33% are defaulting on their student loans and only 10% of -- students you took a dozen attorneys and cut it down to three. then you bit of the unit with people with copies of interest. it is no wonder that little or nothing has done -- been done in the way of investigation. >> your information is erroneous. what's i ask about the article from the new york times which catalyzes in detail -- i'm sure you have seen it can go to the record after my question. >> censure highsmith. : first of hyde smith all, i am throw that you're here. i enjoyed getting to meet you
11:02 pm
over the phone. thank you for talking with me. schools like many in my state faced challenges from reverting and pertaining teachers for the like -- lack of access to broadband. i believe it is imperative that the department support research address specific needs for schools and students. it is my understanding that the department will be compete a grant to establish a research and develop the center dedicated to rural education. my question is what the department considers the most important issue facing schools and how you will help tackle these needs including the severe teacher shortage. mrs. devos: thank you for that question. i know the needs of rural communities are very unique and they differ from community to community. we very much support the flexibility for rural communities to address their issues and their needs specifically.
11:03 pm
when we think about opportunities and making sure students have a broad range of opportunities. while the most important things is that the schools and the communities have access to broadband in a very robust way. i know that that is continuing to improve. that is not part of the department of education purview. we certainly advocate for the widespread adoption of the availability of broadband. that is one tool that communities can use to ensure that students have -- are introduced to a broader subject range through courses they may not be able to provide at their school. we again acknowledge that every rural community is in need of -- as well. .e support the community they are on trying to do so in a
11:04 pm
way that recognizes the varying geographies and varying needs. >> one other question. how does the department consider the geographic distribution of research projects? mrs. devos: the research projects and funding, they continue, those are programs that are generally looked at competitively and as a whole. if you have a specific why you're interested in, i look forward to hearing about that and for the department to look at the program seriously. >> thank you for that. the second one is the department recently rewarded reader illiteracy grants. fundingtand that this is used to help states create a conference or program to advance literary schools. would you please share with the committee what the department is
11:05 pm
doing to ensure that these wide variety of states? escially in numeral areas with underserved populations like mississippi? mrs. devos: we are taking into account the very diverse populations we have in our country. to ensure a wide range of communities and students are able to take a message of that program. if you have a specific interest in that one, i would be glad to talk to you about that and enjoy that we are looking. objectively at the request from your state. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. >> i want to thank secretary devos for being here. this doesn't cut as much funding from the department of education as last year.
11:06 pm
i am very concerned about this and cuts that have been proposed. i appreciate your here to answer our questions. i'm concerned about the 3.6 billion in cuts. both of these programs are critical for west virginia communities but particularly so in our rural communities and rural states. as you know, the every student disease act is called title iv student support. this grant is designed to provide state and school districts the possibility to provide a wide range of services that support a well-rounded education. columbus authorized more than 1.6 billion in funding. then we appropriated 1.1 billion in funding and the president's budget limit all the funding entirely. thatroblem is we are using for opiates and treasury have
11:07 pm
coming from addicted households and maybe addictions themselves. it puts us in a critical situation. i don't know how you all plan to work with this for navigate this since there is no money. mrs. devos: thank you for the questions. total was produced in the context of the restrictions and the parameters that we had. this was spread thinly and shall not to be effective. i would say that the funding that congress did restore to title iv is an area that i think we looked at differently given the circumstances today versus when the budget was first generated. you have gone from 400 up to 1.1. then it goes right back to nothing.
11:08 pm
the flexibility that we have with those grants, those titles, we were able to use that to identify and replace children were coming from a decent homes. is imperative that we have some way of doing that. inthe funding that remains the proposed budget is very flexible and can be used. >> the budget was put forward and enacted. given the timeframe and the time sinc ande thenhe focus, both on schoofety issues as well we look atid crisis, the title iv. >> intercepted it with us and
11:09 pm
show us how this happens. we have a program moving right now. we have children, from addicted homes, we are trying to get them out of the risk. it is imperative. >> the opioid issue is a very horrible one. >> you and i have spoken about in small rural states, the only choice we have is improving the education. in some not an option world areas. i concerned about the $3.6 billion that are being cut while shifting 1.5 billion from critical education programs to school choice. as going to be very hard. we go choice programs not simply leave them the weight is right now in our west virginia school budgets created by this proposed cuts? it does offer rural districts
11:10 pm
opportunities to think differently and to meet students needs differently as well. that is the big picture. anothern't start private education system. all we're doing is taking funds away and enhancing a system and making it better than what we have right now. mrs. devos: sometimes you can think of choice differently. of iten to -- think refresh and buildings. in rural areas, sometimes the biggest challenge is schools that are not able to offer some ap courses because they don't have enough students. viaring first choice virtual classrooms is an opportunity. sometimes such a blunt will
11:11 pm
be upset with me but with that we would like to invite you to west virginia. i know that is a huge issue. >> senator markey? -- murphy? senator markey: you for being here. i think you have her concern for many was about the changes in procedures for civil rights. let me just try to square some of your open comments with some of the changes you have been asked about. you made it very clear that you don't think there should be a one-size-fits-all approach to education in the country. it should be in the hands of local educators and lots of members of the security who agree. on the issue of civil rights, should there be a
11:12 pm
one-size-fits-all for civil rights protections? decision be in the hands of local communities? aould your office consider different community standard regarding issues like civil rights? >> the role of a department is an important one in enforcing students and civil rights and protecting them. is one i am committed to and it the office for civil rights has committed to. i understand that. but there should not be a one-size-fits-all standard for civil rights protection. we should have a federal civil rights law. all students should be protected by that under the same standards. mrs. devos: indeed. >> let me ask you about a question that you are presented with an e-house hearing. this was around the question of whether teachers should refer undocumented students to ice for
11:13 pm
immigration enforcement. in the hearing, i think you have stated that it should be up to each individual state or school district. then you believe a follow-up -- ement it has been consistent in my position since day one. i am worried that that statement is still not clear on this very important question of whether or not a teacher or a principal is allowed to call ice to a report in a document -- undocumented student. can a teacher call ice? mrs. devos: i will refer back to the settled case in pilot versus
11:14 pm
dove -- plilar vs. dough. it says that undocumented students have a right to education. we had to give the students a safe and secure environment to attend school and learning and i maintain that. >> let me ask the question again. is it ok that you are the secretary of education and there are a lot of schools that want guidance and want to understand what the law is -- is it ok for a student or principal to call student?ocumented mrs. devos: i think that a school is a sacrament -- a place for students to learn. >> you seem to be the -- very purposely not giving a yes or no answer. mrs. devos: i think educators know in their hearts the students need to have a safe place to learn. -- why are youso not answering the question? mrs. devos: i think i am
11:15 pm
answering the question. >> the question is yes or no. can a principal call ice on a student? is that allowed? ,rs. devos: in a school setting the student has the right to be there and the right to learn. everything surrounding that should protect that and enhance opportunity and environment. >> can they call ice? mrs. devos: i don't think they can. >> on your still safety -- school safety commission, i am trying to square this belief about not having one-size-fits-all with the goal of the commission to establish best practices. how do you do both? could you give a menu to schools that might not be terribly helpful? what would be helpful is to look
11:16 pm
at evidence. what helps, what does not. argue that if you look at the evidence, it won't point he directionu in t of arming teachers. how do you tell students what works? i don't think it is the role of the federal department of education to tell schools what they can and should do or can and should not do. it is the role for states and local communities to decide what is going to be best to protect their students. we know that there are countless legislatures at the state level debating how they are going to address these issues now. the role of the safety commission is to ensure that we raise up these practices and encourage people to look at them and communities to look at them. one of the thirst things --
11:17 pm
first things we did was look at the reports following sandy hook, columbine and virginia tech. we looked at what has been adopted in places. that is being assessed. evidence-based approaches that have been demonstrated to work is what we have been looking at. we need to encourage those to be broadly adopted. mrs. devos: center read -- >> senator reed? reed: president trump advocated for fixing schools as part of an intersection plan. -- infrastructure plan. there is a gap between necessary repairs to bring them up to standard. that is a level that can't be supported by states and localities along. and one of the -- one of the ironies is that we are spending
11:18 pm
money problematically because of the disrepair -- they are not functional. the kids are not being well-educated because when the windows are broken and the computers are damaged by rain and all those things. what are you doing to address those issues? what are you doing to get the president to get this into his infrastructure plan? -- n: mrs. devos: thank you senator. this doesn't fall under the purview of the department of education. these issues are for the state and local communities to deal with. i think that is best. that is where those are best addressed. just likeed: highways, roads and bridges, guess. without federal support, they won't be effectively addressed. we are spending a lot of time
11:19 pm
talking about programmatic reform and enhancing the teachers skills and etc.. when the kids are sitting in rooms where the ceilings are falling in and the windows are broken and -- shouldn't you be advocating that the president incorporate this in his and for structured plan? isn't this critical to education? mrs. devos: i think that learning environments are important to students. i also think that we can have an opportunity to think a little more broadly as well. i visited a school last week that is a public middle school located in a public museum. the whole city is their classroom. the kinds of approaches that i think more schools can be thinking about and utilizing. i would encourage that because the world has changed. center -- senator reed: that is
11:20 pm
a unique experience. too many schools are without basic maintenance and funds for rehabilitation. it is an educational issue. do you not see the connection between a suitable school facility with adequate heat and windows and an education? mrs. devos: i think that is an important part of an educational experience. >> you would advocate on educational issues that we do something for school infrastructure? mrs. devos: that is a state and local issue. at is a maer for tse titien to address and deal with to eurthat their students have the kind of environment that is conducive to their learning. >> you are saying no. that the federal government should not be involved in providing support to schools for reconstruction and rehabilitation? mrs. devos: is not part of the president's plan or the
11:21 pm
administration's proposal. >> it is part of the education. program, it loan would make student loans for expensive. the needyminating students. this issue is problematic because we have heard comments from the department of defense that they use this loan forgiveness as a means to recruit personnel into the military. have you coordinated with the dot about rescinding the forgiveness? >> we have been in conversation with dot about servicing our military and our veterans well. including the students of those families. i'm talking about those that could benefit from the loan forgiveness -- if it is taken away, they would decide
11:22 pm
that going into the service is not their best option. mrs. devos: i hope we would be supportive of veterans and their careers and beyond. finally, the teacher grant program has tremendous issues. people have discovered that after they thought they spent years in a program that would allow them to have their loan forgiven that because of poor servicing and that it, they have failed. they don't get the relief they thought they would have. what are you doing to fix that servicing problem? mrs. devos: i will look into -- specific question and get back to you. >> let me ask you this madam secretary. a distinguished group of higher at the request of a bipartisan group of senators on this committee gave us a group
11:23 pm
to cutecommendations through what they call this jungle of red tape and it with demonstration of higher education. 12 of those are items that the department of education can deal with without much light of action. are those on your priority list? where do we stand with that? mrs. devos: they are. i will get back to you with the specifics of each one that are administratively able to be done. they are in varying degrees of processing forward. >> i want to make sure that those 12 items are things that you can do while we are still debating. whether we move ahead with our higher education act or not. i hope that you can do that. they have broad support in the higher education system.
11:24 pm
there are 6000 plus institutions. one of the most common complaints that we hear from fornistrators is that example, the university of maryland was to offer online programs in this country and they want to get approval from every single state. they want to recommend a change in that. maybe that is something we have to do. another area where you are moving ahead is the area of title ix. since 1999, when the supreme concluded sexual-harassment, we did not pass a law, with the congress did not pass a law finding what we mean by sexual-harassment, the department has not done any regulations in that area. all we have is letters and guidances. to the very confusing more in 6000 hiring educations and 50,000 public schools or governed by title ix.
11:25 pm
as a former university president, it would be helpful -- helpful for me to know if i were in that business, what exactly is the dutch -- definition of sexual harassment. required to act under the federal law? what is a fair and impartial process? i would assume that since you have said and testified in the house that you are in a regulatory process that you can't talk about that very much because of the way our laws are written. what can you say to us if anything about the department's effort to regulate? let me say to begin with that i support what you are doing. it should have been done sometime ago. this is a very important area for the students and faculty members and administrators.
11:26 pm
they have a right to know what the federal law expects. if congress itself does not define these issues been the only -- only other proper way to do something on this important is to do it through federal regulation. this is where interested people have the chance to make comments and you have a chance to consider them. a federal regulation will have the rule of law. guidances and letters that have been popping out of the department of education on a friday of matters are not supposed to have the force of law but it is very confusing to institutions. what can you say to the college and university presidents and high school principals about what the department is doing on title ix? what should they expect? you and i have talked about this at some point. the guidance letter that the last administration put out with respect to this issue was one that has been very confusing for
11:27 pm
institutions. has in manyne that cases not really respected the due process rights of both parties involved in a complaint. we are focused on making sure that we do this in the proper way through formal regulatory process. we are in the midst of that process now. in the coming months, we will have a draft for comments. we are focused and intent on insuring that institutions will have clarity around their responsibilities in this area. also, the rights and due process rights are respected for all parties involved in such complaints. >> where does the regulatory process stand right now in terms of what you're doing? mrs. devos: we are close to releasing a draft for comment.
11:28 pm
>> let me switch back to another area that you have now reviewed. i think you said 46 state plans. mrs. devos: we have approved 46. >> 46 approved. 1, 2 and four. it goes out to state and local governments. have you been encouraged by the plans? the idea of congress was to give -- what we were able to agree on in this command -- committee was the we wanted to continue 17 federal testsnd some other reirements and the desegregation of those tests. we wanted the public to know
11:29 pm
what our 50 million students and 100,000 public schools -- how they were doing and how the schools were doing. we continue that. that is quite a bit of federal involvement. we want and local governments to have the responsibility for what to do about the results of the test. have you seen many states take advantage of this to civility? -- new ability? mrs. devos: there have been some states taking advantage to ensure that this information is widely shared and that it is very accessible to students and parents. i think the rubber will meet the road in the next year or so. i know that we have continued to encourage states to seize all of the opportunities they have for flexibility in those areas and will continue to do so.
11:30 pm
i think as states implement them, it will become obvious that the variation and approaches -- hopefully states will learn from one another. >> i will turn his back over to the chairman. it would be fair to say that we are not likely to get a fair and complete picture of how the until welans operate see them actually operate. perhaps some of the questions that the senators have about whether states are doing what senators and congressman intend for them to do will be clearer. >> sen. baldwin:. haveor baldwin: you and i agreed on cte in private meetings and previous hearings before this. and e health committee.
11:31 pm
once again, your proposed budget fails to significantly invest in these programs. unlike your fiscal 2018 budget proposal, there are no cuts to programs under the career and technical education act. however, i am disappointed that the budget simply requests fiscal year 2017 level funding for the perkins basic state grant program. and once again, it seeks to cut k-12 programs that can support career and technical education and stem, namely student support and academic enrichment grant and the 21st century community learning centers grant. to talked about the need strengthen investments in high-quality career and technical education programs and
11:32 pm
stem education. but the budget proposal doesn't back that up. why does flat funding and even cutting funding for these programs support this, your commitment to career and technical education and stem if they are indeed priorities for you? senator alexander: thank you -- thank you,evos: senator, for that question. to put the budget more in context, when the budget was proposed, it was within the parameters of the broader administration bge proposal so decision had to be made around programs that were most effective in reaching students and the needs they had. the proposed in elimination of a couple programs that you have referred to, --ause they are spread in spread thinly and have been demonstrated to be not particularly effective. that said, any line item that
11:33 pm
, proposedlat funded to be flat funded from 2017 is considered a high priority by the administration, so career and technical investments continue to receive that kind of support. we have also made a proposal for short-term pell grant's and recognizing that students are not, there are not as many traditional students today, and that high-quality short-term certification programs through would provide students a lot of other opportunities to pursue some of these career and technical programs they may not be able to otherwise. lastor baldwin: on the point, i appreciate that. that is a policy change i have been seeking to make for some for, recognizing the need sometimes short-term, shorter-term programs and things that lead to a credential that
11:34 pm
alld otherwise be un-aid of -- able. when you say flat funding is what you are doing for your most that isority programs, disappointing. let me move to college affordability. in your testimony, you suggest your budget hones the focus of the department's mission. serving students by meeting their needs. ". just as it did last year, your budget proposal would make college less affordable for students in my state, wisconsin, and across the country. it again targets three campus-based programs, perkins loans, federal work study, and supplemental educational opportunity grants, all of which allow campuses to target financial aid to the students they know to be in need. s them all, cutting
11:35 pm
a mostudy in half, or half, and supporting an end to the perkins program. it could eliminate in the state of wisconsin roughly $461 wisconsin aid for students. it also cuts billions from other programs to make college more affordable, including by illuminating federal subsidized loans and the public service loan forgiveness program. did you know -- as you know, college costs rise and push heidrick -- higher education out of reach to more young people. have you these cuts to federal financial aid programs for the your department's mission to serve students by meeting their needs? secretary devos: thank you senator for that question. in reference to a couple of the programs you cited, the perkins program has been continually iced out by congress, so guess the budget reflects a continuation of that. we work-study program,
11:36 pm
continue to propose funding work-study, but really focused on the students that are in the versusureate programs the graduate programs. the elimination is really for graduate level work study. the bigger question about how can we make sure students have opportunity to pursue higher to,ation, it refers back again, supporting a multitude of pathways, then also for students that take on debt in order to do so, really streamlining that thereence and then, retained meant. we have made proposals for income-driven retain met, in 10 -- income driven repayment programs that is more robust for them, can be counted on for the students who elect that option, that will help
11:37 pm
students that heretofore have not been able to pursue higher education in a longer-term, meaningful way, to be able to do so. we are focused on finding ways to make sure that students that thesest in need of opportunities are able to access them, then have good options for the back end in repaying. >> thank you, senator. we have two more members. we will try to finish up right at noon. senator kennedy, you are first followed by senator rubio. kennedy: madam secretary, welcome. federalocal, and tolars, we spend on pre-k 12. by understanding is, we spend on average about $13,000 per public school student. does that sound about right? secretary devos: that does.
11:38 pm
senator kennedy: i understand we rank about the same as slovakia, which spends about half the money. is that right? secretary devos: i think that would be about right. senator kennedy: name the one single thing that congress could improveur judgment to elementary and secondary education on the public side in america. secretary devos: the one single thing that congress -- that would be to empower parents to especially low income parents to find and choose the right education setting for their child. on the one hand. and to really embrace and support individual local public schools to be creative and innovative with how they meet their students' needs, so we don't see the kind of one-size-fits-all approaches that are prevalent in many states across the country. is justkennedy: this
11:39 pm
one person's opinion, madam secretary, and i think you are doing a wonderful job, by the way. i think a lot of our policymakers don't understand what our public schools are like today. they don't. that is true at the state and local level. i think it is also true at the federal level. we can't control what our colleagues at the state and local level do. but we can control what we at the federal level do, and i am going to make a gentle suggestion to you. the upper echelon folks at the department of education. how you define that will be up to you. eventually, i would like to extend this, i would like you to consider extending this to every policymaker in the department of education. ask them to volunteer to substitute teach at least once in a public school.
11:40 pm
, in anrivate school inner city public school. i don't mean going in and talking to the civics class about how to -- how a bill becomes a l. i mean signing up as a substitute. all you need is a bachelor of arts degree, or bachelor of science and you go to an orientation. you are a substitute teacher and you start at a quarter to seven and you go to 2:45 and you .ither do bus or lunchroom duty you teach 25 or 30 kids. and you are going to learn some stuff. would you consider doing that? secretary devos: i think it is a great idea, and i think we have an example that i am looking at right now. as i understand, you do this two or three times a year in louisiana. senator kennedy: what you see is how hard it is to be a teacher. teachers, they don't just have to teach.
11:41 pm
moms and daddies and social workers and psychologist. it is so much harder being a kid today. these younger people are seeing things in the sixth grade that i didn't even know about until i was in college. and i think a lot of our policymakers have lost sight of that. it is easy to tell teachers, just maintain discipline in the classroom. schools,lot of our learning is rare. and it seems to me that is an appropriate place to start. here's my final question. tell me, but cost of a college education has gone up. more than the cost of health care, which is breathtaking. do you believe the value of a college education has gone up commence or it with its cost? secretary devos: i think that is a good question and i think that
11:42 pm
varies from place to place and institution to institution, and inhink we can be helpful helping students and parents evaluate these questions and issues. senator kennedy: what is the one thing we can do to lower the cost? secretary devos: i don't know there is one thing to lower the cost. i think allowing for a lot more innovation in higher education is one area that has to be explored, and it has to be allowed to happen, because again, the world has changed in every other area except primarily the world of education. senator kennedy: thank you, secretary. : one of the things that struck me in the aftermath of parkland was even before the authorities had released the name of the shooter,ll of the students knew who it was. everybody knew who it was.
11:43 pm
we now know, for example, this student, this killer had been suspended 67 days in a single year for things like bringing bullets to campus, claiming he sold knives, drawing swastikas and hate speech on his book bags. any number of which, including off-campus, would have had him formally reported to lard -- to law enforcement and prevented them from purchasing a firearm. reviewedepartment has the school discipline policies nationally and in particular in broward county, what do we know to this point about the school discipline policy in broward or national? secretary devos: thank you, senator. this policy is part of the menu of items the school safety commission is charged with considering. we are looking at and evaluating the policy. clearly, the goal of the policy, to ensure that no student is discriminated against in discipline situations, is a valid and noble goal, and we
11:44 pm
certainly embrace that. the question is, is the policy doing harm in some way? we are in the middle of reviewing that and considering that, and it will be part of the work of this commission to come out with the result and recommendation. goalor rubio: indeed, the is to prevent school discipline policies from having an unfair impact on minority students. i agree with that. no one wants to see minority students unfairly impacted. do we know that, as a direct result of the guidance, has the department found any schools or districts that have discipline policies that violate civil rights? are in theevos: we process of reviewing that and i don't have anything to add at this moment about it, but will soon. senator rubio: do we know how many haven't been -- have been investigated for violations? secretary devos: i don't have that number now but i can get
11:45 pm
that to your office. senator rubio: my last question thislearly the intent of cool discipline guidance issued under the previous administration could not have been meant to prevent teachers from reporting a student to law enforcement when the student commits an act that may result in them being prohibitive from legally purchasing a firearm. that was the intent -- that was not the intent of the policy. i hope to encourage you to be supportive of it, to issue a first impression. i am not sure, we might have shared it with your office already, but it is legislation that i have introduced called abcs and school discipline, and moved it -- it would provide clear guidance on this, that the discipline policy of our school districts should in no way prevent teachers from reporting a student to law enforcement when the student commits an act that may result in them being prohibited from legally purchasing a firearm later on for obvious reasons, and so i hope that is something that we can put in place so something
11:46 pm
like this may never, ever happen again. think, i am fine. thank you for being here. >> thank you, senator rubio and secretary devos are being here. the record will stay open for one week for additional questions and the subcommittee -- >> if i could make one statement, because this has been raised a couple times here. the secretary knows, i disagree with much of what you said. when we wrote the bipartisan act, we agree the performance of students who have historically struggled must be factor in -- factored in when states measure school performance. the wall street journal has reported that a state may award and a letter grade to a school even if 40% of african-american students can read at grade level. that is why we put in the provisions. i don't think you would give an students about 40% of
11:47 pm
answer is right, and it is not fair that african-american families could be told they are rated school if 40% of students are reading at grade level. i disagree with this conversation and i want to reiterate, my staffer tested multiple times that -- requested multiple times that your department provide bipartisan briefings so we can examine this. i reiterate that request today. >> thank you, senator. i'm sorry, i didn't ask if you had anything to add. on the topic of being responsive to the committee, that is important. it needs to happen. everybody could be better at it, but i think it is a priority, and it gets you a long way by just providing the information when it is asked for, as quickly as possible. and if you are working on things that you know will be a problem with the commiee, to step forwarwithhat, awell.
11:48 pm
we haveld just say, asked and invited senator murray on multiple occasions to talk about the issue she has questions on. we will continue to do so and we welcome the opportunity. senator blunt: thank you for being here. the record will stay open for one week. the subcommittee stands in recess.
11:49 pm
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> c-span's washington journal live every day, with news and
11:50 pm
policy issues that impact you. coming up wednesday morning, inside elections reporter will be on to talk about the results of tuesday's primaries. an arizona republican congressman discusses divisions within the republican conference on immigration policy. then, a democratic congressman from rhode island talks about democratic messaging heading into the 2018 midterm elections. they should watch c-span's washington journal, live at 7:00 a.m. eastern wednesday morning. join the discussion. >> live wednesday on the c-span networks, at 10:00 a.m. on c-span, the house returns for work on a combined spending bill for energy, water projects. the legislative branch and military construction. on c-span2, the senate debates on judicial nominations and on c-span3 at 9:45 a.m., health and secretaryices
11:51 pm
testifies before the house education and workforce committee about his agency's policies and priorities. at two: 30 p.m., rand paul leads the senate homeland security subcommittee hearing on the financial impact and constitutional implications of u.s. military action under the existing authorization for use of military force. >> on wednesday at 8:00 p.m. memorialn c-span2, the service marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of robert f kennedy from arlington national cemetery. featured speakers include family, friends, members of congress, and former president bill clinton. watch the rfk 50th memorial service at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2. c-span.org, or listen on the free c-span radio app.
11:52 pm
evolvinglook at the relationship between the u.s. and mexico. the wilson center's mexico institute and migration policy institute cohosted an event with current and former officials from both countries. topics included the impact of nash debt -- nafta and what they described as understanding more of the positive productive aspects of the relationship. this is just over two hours. >> good morning, everybody. >> good morning. buenos