10:36, May 25 112 0

2017-05-25 10:36:06

 

Besty DeVos says state-funded schools can reject LGBT students

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said that schools receiving publicly-funded vouchers should be allowed to discriminate against LGBT students without risking their funding.

During a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing Wednesday on the proposed federal school voucher program, DeVos told Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) in a tense exchange that “school choice” and state flexibility are more important that protecting vulnerable students’ right to an equal education.

Clark presented the example of Lighthouse Christian Academy, a private Indiana school that currently receives $665,000 in voucher funds but reserves the right to deny attendance to children from families “living in, condoning sexual immorality; practicing homosexual lifestyle or alternate gender identity; promoting such practices.”

“If Indiana applies for this federal funding, will you stand up that this school be open to all students?” Clark asked.

DeVos, whose wants to add $250 million to the education budget for “school choice” programs including voucher funding, attempted to deflect Clark’s targeted question, thanking her for asking a question DeVos said was “broadly” about school choice. But Clark wasn’t having it.

“Is there a line for you on state flexibility?” Clark asked. “You are the backstop for students and their right to access a quality education.Would you say, in this case, we are going to overrule and you cannot discriminate, whether it be on sexual orientation, race, special needs, in our voucher program? Will that be a guarantee from you for our students?”

In short, no.

“For states that have programs that allow parents to make choices, they set up the rules around that,” DeVos replied.

Clark cut DeVos off and pressed on.


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