WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Connecticut Democrat Congresswoman Rosa Delauro berated U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Thursday, calling the Trump Administration’s proposed budgets cutting dozens of education programs an attack on the nation’s public schools.
“How can you continue to make these claims,” Delauro said to DeVos. “You deny the resources to the schools that need the help most.”
Delauro says the proposed budget would slash funding to charter schools, tutoring services and endanger youth literacy by rolling all the money into general block grants.
“That’s code for cutting programs,” said Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL).
Illinois Democrat Cheri Bustos says the proposal would also mean less money for rural school districts desperate to recruit teachers.
“The fact that they’re cutting that, that’s a statement that they are not taking this problem seriously and that’s a big problem,” Bustos said.
But DeVos pushed back on those claims, saying block grants will simply give states the flexibility they need to decide how money should be spent.
“Different states will invest their share of the block grant differently, and that’s okay. In fact, that’s why they hope they do,” DeVos said.
And while some Republicans praised the administration’s strategy, others raised concerns.
“There’s a risk here,” said Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole.
But Cole still defended DeVos, saying the secretary is simply doing her job.
“I know you’re challenged in making it all fit,” Cole said.
Democrats say they’ll keep fighting to ensure public schools continue to get the funding they need.
“This is not going to happen,” Delauro said.