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Stabenow to vote against Betsy DeVos for Department of Education head

Debbie Stabenow
U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow plans to vote against Betsy DeVos as head of the Dept. of Education.

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow says she will not support Betsy DeVos as the next head of the Department of Education. 

In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, Stabenow said that the two women met yesterday ahead of DeVos' confirmation hearing next Wednesday.

“Our conversation reaffirmed my strong concerns about her nomination,” Stabenow said. “Betsy DeVos and her family have a long record of pushing policies that I believe have seriously undermined public education in Michigan and failed our children. Therefore, I cannot support (her).”

DeVos is the former head of the Michigan Republican Party and has long been a proponent of charter schools and voucher systems that would allow parents to choose between various school options.  

Public education supporters say this type of system does not help students and would only take money away from already struggling schools.

Ed Patru, a spokesman for a group called Friends of Betsy DeVos, tells the Free Press that Stabenow and DeVos still can find "common ground" on education issues.

The Free Press reports that Stabenow also met with U.S. Rep. Tom Price, President-elect Trump's nomination to head the Department of Health and Human Services. The paper says Stabenow plans to vote against that nomination as well.