Democratic Rep. Blasts Betsy DeVos' 'Appalling' Inability to Say She'd Stand up For Kids, Says She 'Should Resign'

Betsy DeVos
Betsy DeVos testifies during a hearing before House Education and Labor Committee December 12, 2019 on Capitol Hill. Recently, DeVos clashed with two representatives during. Alex Wong/Getty

On Thursday, Democratic Representative Katherine Clark slammed Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at the President's 2021 Education Budget Request hearing, telling DeVos that she "should resign."

"Your inability to say that you would stand up for kids is appalling, and you really should resign," Clark said during the hearing.

Clark stated that she thinks the secretary should resign after she asked DeVos if she could "guarantee," taxpayer money would only go to schools with nondiscrimination policies.

"Well congresswoman, this is not proposed to be a federal program. This is proposed to be a federal tax credit. The legislation is specifically for states to create programs that are going to meet the needs of the most vulnerable and needy students in their states," DeVos said.

While Clark's comments, suggesting DeVos to resign, came on Thursday, this is not the first time she has made this type of remark.

In 2019, Clark called for DeVos' resignation, saying that the secretary used "racist research" as justification to remove school discipline regulations formed under former President Barack Obama's administration.

"What Betsy DeVos did that I object to and find disgusting is she rescinded civil rights policy and cherry-picked racist research to back it up," Clark said in 2019 while appearing on MSNBC. "What she did was roll back Obama-era protections for children of color who we know are disciplined at far greater rates than their white peers. And she backed it up with research that says this isn't because of institutional racism, this isn't because of any of that. It's because of who these children are."

The study that Clark was citing in 2019, which DeVos used, argues that the higher discipline rates between white and black students is "likely produced by pre-existing behavioral problems of youth that are imported into the classroom, that cause classroom disruptions, and that trigger disciplinary measures by teachers and school officials."

In addition to Clark telling DeVos to resign from her position as education secretary, she also received criticism from Democratic Representative Mark Pocan.

Pocan asked DeVos about a Washington Post report that talked about charter schools receiving money from the federal government, with Pocan noting "40 percent," of charter schools that DeVos is giving grants to "are closing down."

"That is not true, that has been a totally debunked report, it was nothing but propaganda," DeVos said in response to Pocan's comment.

Pocan then went on to ask DeVos "what percent of charter schools are failing?"

When DeVos was unable to provide Pocan with a specific number for his question he said, "You're the secretary of education, and you don't have this? You know this report's wrong, but you don't have a number."

"What I know is parents and families are choosing to send their children to charter schools. Parents and children are going to charter schools by choice, and there are a million more families on charter school wait lists," DeVos said in response.

Democratic Rep. Blasts Betsy DeVos' 'Appalling' Inability to Say She'd Stand up For Kids, Says She 'Should Resign' | News