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DeVos reveals plans for school safety panel gives the case for cuts

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos waits to testify before a House Committee on Appropriation sub-committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington.

(Associated Press)

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday unveiled a number of details of a federal commission on school safety which she presides.

The commission, formed after the Feb. 14 high school shooting in a Park, Fla., will existence itself and the heads of Internal Security, the Health and Human Services, and Justice.

DeVos said the commission will, among other things, to consider whether to forbid gun sales to people under 21.

The announcement came during a Capitol Hill hearing in which He defended a proposed $3.6 billion reduction in her department’s budget.

DeVos has pushed for more public funding of alternatives to traditional district schools — such as charter school or private school programs. Critics say that private schools choose which students to admit, and can discriminate against minorities.

USA. Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., welcomed DeVos for trying to upend the education and the promotion of alternatives in the vicinity of public schools.

My gosh, the federal intrusion in education just has not worked and it is time to drain the educational swamp.

– Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md.

“My heavens, the federal intrusion in education just has not worked and it is time to drain the educational swamp,” Harris said.

Democrats were less supportive of DeVos’ plans. The secretary faced sharp criticism from the US. Rep. Barbara Lee, of California, who complained that minority students were disciplined more often than their white counterparts, for similar violations.

“Your head in the sand about racial prejudice and discrimination on the basis of race,” Lee said DeVos. “Your excellency, you just don’t care too much about the rights of black and brown children. This is terrible.”

Lee’s claim drew a sharp response from the minister.

“There is no place for discrimination and there is no tolerance for discrimination and we will continue to defend that,” DeVos said, adding that she was proud of the work of her agency’s civil rights office.

“Warrants to you, as secretary of state for education, that money is included with non-discrimination policies for private schools?” asked USA. Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass.

“Yes,” He finally said, after a heated discussion.

The president made a point of thanking DeVos for her balance, when he closed the meeting.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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