PATERNO TO PRACTICE SOT WPVI
FTG FOR COVERAGE ON JERRY SANDUSKY / MEDIA SWARMS PENN STATE HEAD FOOTBALL COACH JOE PATERNO AS HE LEAVES HIS HOUSE TO GO TO FOOTBALL PRACTICE AND COMMENTS ON JERRY SANDUSKY SEXUAL ABUSE SCANDAL INVESTIGATION / HIS SON SCOTT PATERNO ALSO COMMENTS Joe Paterno's son Scott said on camera that "there's nothing we can add right now. no one has asked my father to step down." He went on to say "Joe is going to practice, no more to tell you.. will talk when the time is appropriate." As Joe Paterno gets in his car, someone off camera yells "We love you coach." Then multiple people begin chanting "Joe Paterno." From: Donovan, Erin K. Sent: Tuesday, November 08, 2011 2:39 PM To: #ABCTV News Video Cc: Ganas, Jon P.; Williams, Richard K.; Parker, Leslie R.; Husar, Tanya; McKenzie, Stephen; Bobonis, Regis; Krisanda, Dave; Abraham, Carl; Wade, Jennifer; grichards@abc27.com <mailto:grichards@abc27.com>; 'lschmidt@abc27.com' Subject: IRD 5: Paterno Headed to Practice Ingest is rolling IRD 5 Source: WPVI No Embargo, NO NNS 1440-1450 GAL 17, 12A Print reporters tell WABC Paterno has just left his house and is headed to practice. Someone made a comment about him being asked to step down.he didn't respond to the comment but did say that all questions would be addressed soon.
ROCK MUSIC
SCOTT McKENZIE - SAN FRANCISCO SCOTT McKENZIE - SAN FRANCISCO (1967)
LE 20H: [broadcast of April 14, 2018]
TF1 News (Private - August 1982 ->)
PAT BUCHANAN
00:00:00:00 [GOP presidential candidate Pat Buchanan PC on sidewalk following his filing for matching campaign funds with the Federal Election Commission]--MS Buchanan-intros Scott McKenzie (sp?), ...
US Gucci Fashion Show
US Gucci Fashion Show
Scott McKenzie
San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your H
Iraq Trial - Military hearing into alleged abuse of prisoners continues
TAPE: EF03/0775 IN_TIME: 23:27:43 DURATION: 2:29 SOURCES: APTN RESTRICTIONS: DATELINE: Camp Bucca - 27/28 Aug 2003 SHOTLIST: QUALITY AS INCOMING 28 August 2003 1. Wide shot of tent and military vehicle at Camp Bucca 2. Various military personnel entering tent 3. US Army military personnel coming out of tent 4. SOUNDBITE: (English) - Major Victor Harris, US Army: "This is the second day of the article 32 procedings and we've had about 20 witnesses testify so far. A lot of evidence has come forward so that our investigating officer came make a good recommendation to the command as to what should happen with this particular case." 5. More US Army military personnel coming out of tent 6. SOUNDBITE: (English) - Major Victor Harris, US Army: "At sometime during these procedings there will be Iraqi EPWs (enemy prisoners of war) that will testify here on Camp." 7. Harris walks away 8. Harris and personnel entering tent 9. Harris coming back out 10 Wide shot of Humvee and military 11. Personnel entering tent 12. Wide shot of POW camp 27 August 2003 13. Two of the defendants, Staff Sergeant Scott McKenzie and Lisa Girman, entering tent 14. Third defendant Shawna Edmondson watch towards tent 15. Shoulder shot of officer, pan to 4th defendant Timothy Canjar and his lawyer entering tent STORYLINE: The United States military continued its hearing on Thursday, into accusations against four US soldiers who allegedly abused Iraqi prisoners of war at a camp in May in the Iraqi southern port city of Umm Qasr. Possible charges include dereliction of duty, assault and maltreatment of prisoners. Three of the soldiers could also be charged with making a false official statement and one of them faces possible obstruction of justice counts. The accused soldiers - 21 year old Specialist Timothy Canjar, 24 year old Shawna Edmondson, Master Sergeant Lisa Marie Girman, 35 and Staff Sergeant Scott A. McKenzie, 38 - were all from the 320 Military Police Battalion. The four were part of a unit that was transporting a bus load of captives to a prisoner of war processing center in Umm Qasr. The hearing was being held in a tent set up at Camp Bucca, where the alleged abuse took place. The hearing is the equivalent of a civilian grand jury investigation which will produce a nonbinding recommendation to be forwarded to senior military officials for a final judgment. The families of the four accused soldiers have enlisted the help of politicians, veterans groups and friends to lobby for support and persuade the military to dismiss the charges. The list of charges, obtained by The Associated Press, included kicking and striking Iraqi prisoners of war in the groin, face, abdomen and head, along with charges of holding prisoners and encouraging others to kick them.
Mamas & The Papas
Interview With Denny Dougherty & Scott McKenzie
LE 20H: [broadcast of August 20, 2012]
TF1 News (Private - August 1982 ->)
FLORIDA LOTTERY POWERBALL PRESSER
INT BROLL FLORIDA LOTTERY ANNOUNCER SOLE WINNER OF RECORD POWERBALL LOTTERY WINNER - WINNER NOT PRESENT PIECE: FARIS/SINGLE BIGGEST LOTTERY WINNER COMING FORWARD? sWASHHD5 FLORIDA LOTTERY POWERBALL PRESSER 14:53:18 And now the news we have all been waiting for, the winner has come forward, the ticket has been validated at lottery headquarters and the winner of the $590 million dollar jackpot is Mrs. Gloria C. Mackenzie 84 years of age of Zephyr Hills, FL Mrs. MacKenzie has elected to receive the winnings in a onetime lump sum payment of $370, 896, 780 million dollars before taxes. This is in lew of receiving 30 annual payments of $19, 000,683 before taxes. Mrs. Mackenzie has declined the opportunity to speak with the media today however she did ask that I share this statement with you we bought the ticket as a single ticket even though we bought 4 other tickets before the drawing while in line at Publix another lottery player was kind enough to let me go ahead of them in line to purchase the winning quick pick ticket. We are grateful for this blessing of winning the Florida lottery jackpot and appreciate the interest of the public, the lottery and the state of Florida. We hope that everyone will give us the opportunity for privacy for our families benefit. If you have any questions you may contact our reps at the law firm of Brandt, Abraham, Riter, McCormack and Johnson or the financial Advisory services of Jacksonville Florida 145602 It's a large amount of money and changes your life and I believe to make sure they were ready to handle the responsibilities that come with that type of a jackpot winning 145628 They walk in the Florida Headquarters if the lottery here in Florida and say they have a winning ticket and we validate it 145649 Who was with her? Her son was with her, a trusted family friend and her legal and financial advisors her financial advisors, his name is Scott MacKenzie 145729 She bought the ticket in Zephyr Hills Florida 145819 The Cash payout is $370,896,780 before taxes 145835 Broll - A shot of the winning check GLORIA C. MACKENZIE FLORIDA LOTTERY ANNOUNCES RECORD-SETTING POWERBALL® JACKPOT AWARDED TO SOLE WINNER TODAY ~ Press Conference at 2:00 p.m. ~ WHAT: The Florida Lottery is holding a press conference to announce the largest sole lottery jackpot winner in history. The record $590.5 million POWERBALL® jackpot was won on the from the May 18 drawing. The winner will not be present at today's press conference. The event will be broadcast live via satellite coordinates where details regarding the winner will be announced. WHEN: Wednesday, June 5, 2013 2:00 p.m. WHERE: Florida Lottery Headquarters 250 Marriott Drive Tallahassee, FL 32399 BACKGROUND: Since launching POWERBALL in 2009, Florida has awarded more than $1 billion in POWERBALL prizes, creating 100 POWERBALL millionaires, 20 of which were multi-millionaires. Florida retailers have received more than $111 million in POWERBALL sales, cashing and bonus commissions. POWERBALL ticket sales have also generated more than $864 million for Florida's Educational Enhancement Trust Fund. Adding POWERBALL to the Florida Lottery's portfolio of games has proven to be a tremendous success, benefiting players, retailers and the state's public education system.
[Short set: death of singer Scott McKenzie]
TF1 News (Private - August 1982 ->)
Iraq Trial - Four US army reservists accused of abusing PoWs at military court
TAPE: EF03/0771 IN_TIME: 23:31:23 DURATION: 2:39 SOURCES: APTN RESTRICTIONS: DATELINE: Camp Bucca, near Um Qasr - 27 August 2003 QUALITY AS INCOMING SHOTLIST: 1. US Army officers outside tent (NB not those accused of abusing POWs) 2. Various of army officers entering tent 3. SOUNDBITE: (English) Major Vic Harris, US Army: "The purpose of this investigation is to determine whether any of the charges have any merit and to ensure that justice is served. So that if anyone did in fact violate any laws that they'll be brought to justice and that's what the investigating officer is doing. At the conclusion of his investigation he'll make a recommendation to the command and then the command will decide what to do with his recommendations and that shouldn't happen for at least another month now." 4. Compound in desert 5. Officer and tent 6. Officers bringing bench to outside tent then walking in 7. SOUNDBITE: (English) Major Vic Harris, US Army: "The recommendation is nonbinding, the commander will make a decision based on the recommendation but it will be an independent decision based on all the evidence that is presented to the commander. Very quickly it's important to note that the American military does not care who it is that allegedly violates the laws of war or the Geneva convention. If there is a violation we will pursue it, check to see if the allegations are true and then ensure that justice is pursued." 8. Female officer and man smoking 9. Officers entering tent 10. SOUNDBITE: (English) Major Vic Harris, US Army: "I'd just simply say to the American public that the overwhelming majority of all of our fantastic MPs that guard the Iraqi EPWs (enemy prisoners of war) are doing a great job. And any allegations of misconduct are without a doubt an anomaly. We don't train our soldiers to abuse prisoners or EPWs, enemy prisoners of war and the overwhelming majority of our MP's are doing a fantastic job serving their country here in Iraq." 11. Two US Humvees on road STORYLINE: The United States military opened a hearing on Wednesday into accusations against four US soldiers who allegedly abused Iraqi prisoners of war at a camp in the Iraqi southern port city of Umm Qasr, in May. Possible charges include dereliction of duty, assault and maltreatment of prisoners. Three of the soldiers also could be charged with making a false official statement and one of them faces possible obstruction of justice counts. The accused soldiers - 21 year old Specialist Timothy Canjar, 24 year old Shawna Edmondson, Master Sergeant Lisa Marie Girman, 35 and Staff Sergeant Scott A. McKenzie, 38 - were all from the 320 Military Police Battalion. The four were part of a unit that was transporting a busload of captives to a prisoner-of-war processing center in Umm Qasr. The hearing was being held in a tent set up in Camp Bucca, where the alleged abuse took place. Major Vic Harris, a U.S. army spokesman at Camp Bucca, said: "The purpose of this investigation is to determine whether any of the charges have any merit and to ensure that justice is served." The hearing is the equivalent of a civilian grand jury investigation which will produce a nonbinding recommendation to be forwarded to senior military officials for a final judgment. Of the four, Girman and Canjar appeared to be the most affected, both initially looking pale and stared blankly for long periods of times, occasionally looking directly at witnesses facing them across the tent, or glancing at fellow soldiers or officers attending the hearing. A government witness, Stephen Stallard, a squad leader of a unit involved in transporting 44 Iraqi prisoners of war on the day of the alleged incident, said in his testimony that Girman told him "I think we show the prisoners too much respect." Girman is a 14-year Pennsylvania state police veteran. "In my opinion, he was screaming for his life," Stallard said, recalling the alleged abuse one of the prisoners. The case has caused an uproar in Pennsylvania, where the battalion is based. The families of the four accused soldiers have enlisted the help of politicians, veterans groups and friends to lobby for support and persuade the military to dismiss the charges. The list of charges, obtained by The Associated Press, included kicking and striking Iraqi prisoners of war in the groin, face, abdomen, and head, and holding prisoners and encouraging others to kick them.
Off. usa. death of singer scott mc kenzie
TF1 News (Private - August 1982 ->)
Men’s basketball: Spacers Toulouse/ olympique Antibes
Midi Atlantique
PENTAGON BRIEFING WITH JOHN KIRBY
FS22 PENTAGON BRIEFING POOL 2 1415 ABC POOL Pentagon briefing with DOD Press Secretary John Kirby in the Pentagon briefing room PRESS SECRETARY JOHN F. KIRBY: Hey, guys. Q: Hi, John. MR. KIRBY: OK. I have to get my iPad oriented now. There we go. OK, lots of stuff to go through at the top, so please bear with me. I think earlier today, you know there was a transition of authority ceremony held at Resolute Support Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, marking the transition of command authorities from General Scott Miller to the commander of U.S. Central Command, General Frank McKenzie. As the secretary approved earlier this month, and as we outlined to you on July 2nd, General McKenzie will now lead the U.S. mission in Afghanistan, and that's focused on four things: one, protecting our diplomatic presence in country; two, enabling the safe operation of Hamid Karzai International Airport; three, continuing to provide appropriate advice and assistance to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces; and four, supporting our counterterrorism efforts. As you heard from Secretary Austin just hours ago, before his meeting with the U.K. Secretary of State for Defense, Ben Wallace, This transfer of authority is only the next milestone in an ongoing drawdown process. Withdrawal remains on track to be complete by the end of August, and General McKenzie retains all existing authorities surrounding the conduct of ongoing counterterrorism operations needed to protect our homeland from any threats that may emanate out of Afghanistan. As General McKenzie said to those that were in Kabul for the ceremony, and I'm quoting him now, "This ceremony marks an important milestone in and transition of our involvement in Afghanistan. What it does not signify is an end of our commitment to our Afghan partners." Now, as he said that we'll be able to support counterterrorism efforts and our Afghan partners from places outside of the country indicates a change in posture, but not a change in our resolve to support our partners. Both Secretary Austin and General McKenzie have expressed their thanks to General Miller. You may have caught the secretary's comments just an hour or so ago to that regard, to thank General Miller and his team for their diligent execution of the retrograde of millions of tons of equipment and thousands of personnel, all conducted with great efficiency and without a single casualty, and I think that's historic. When you think about this kind of withdrawal, which is ongoing, but when you think about what they've accomplished in a short period of time and no one's gotten hurt -- and we had to assume it would be a contestant environment -- we haven't done something like this, so it truly was historic. Now, following today's events, General Miller departed Afghanistan. He's on his way back to the United States, and we'll have more to talk about that in -- in the coming days. Now, so moving on, here in Washington, I think I already alluded to it in my comments about Afghanistan, the secretary did welcome and host the secretary of state for defense of the United Kingdom, Ben Wallace, here at the Pentagon today. They are now visiting Arlington Cemetery, where the secretary of state for defense will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We'll put out a -- a readout later today of -- of the meeting and what they discussed. Shifting gears to some ongoing exercises, in the European Command theater, the Ukrainian-US-cohosted Exercise Sea Breeze concluded over the weekend. Thirty-one ships, 40 aircraft and Navy and Marine Corps personnel conducted 175 events throughout the Black Sea, to include air, surface and subsurface warfare drills to build upon interoperability in the Black Sea region. The destroyer USS Ross and other U.S. Navy Sixth Fleet forces are now heading to Bulgaria to kick off the annual Bulgarian-led Exercise Breeze. Our transition to the next exercise demonstrates our continued support to all of our Black Sea allies and partners, and shows our commitment to building a community dedicated to strengthening stability and security in the region. Also in Bulgaria, Exercise Thracian Star '21 kicked off today. This exercise builds upon our ability to integrate with NATO allies from Bulgaria, Greece and Romania to train for supporting regional security during peacetime, contingencies and crises. As part of the exercise this week, F-16s and airmen from Aviano Air Base, Italy will conduct training alongside NATO forces to enhance our ability to provide a credible fighting force. MR. KIRBY: Now, in the Indo-Pacific area, yesterday marked the first day of U.S. Army Pacific's Forager '21, which is the primary training exercise in support of the Defender Pacific '21. Forager '21 is designed to test and refine the theater Army ability to deploy land forces to the Pacific, execute command-and-control and effectively conduct multi-domain operations throughout Oceana from July 11 to August 6, 2021. Approximately 4,000 U.S. personnel are directly participating in Forager 21. This exercise will consist of several major events to include an 82nd Airborne operation, a bilateral airborne operation with a Japan Ground self-Defense Force and 1st Special Forces Group. And AH-64 helicopter live-fire exercise, multi-domain operations including movements of Stryker, Avengers and high-mobility artillery rocket systems and modernization efforts in this space in cyber domains. Finally, NORAD and USNORTHCOM in partnership with all 11 combatant commands are leading the latest in the series of global information dominance experience or GIDE, G-I-D-E. GIDE 3 began July 8, and it will continue through the 15th of this month. The experiment is taking place globally through virtual events, but will also involve some live fly events in northern Michigan. The experiment embodies a fundamental change in how we use information and data to increase decision space, as well as a concerted effort to create global integration. The goal is to shift the department away from today's regionally focused plans, strategies, force management and force design paradigms and budgetary and acquisition processes. GIDE focuses on rapidly developing the capabilities required to increase deterrence options in competition and crisis to a data centric software-based approach. It's very much part and parcel of what you heard the secretary talk about a few months ago about integrated deterrence for the next century. GIDE events will combine people and technology to innovate and accelerate system development for domain awareness, information dominance, decisional superiority and global integration. Lastly, I know I said finally on that, but lastly, I want to note that and I know you all are aware that later this afternoon there will be a memorial service for Tejinder Singh, formerly of India, America today, over -- in downtown. And again, I just want to use this opportunity to express our condolences on behalf of everybody at the department to him, to his family, to his loved ones, to his colleagues and actually to all of you who I know felt very deeply about him and his professionalism. We mourn with you and we are certainly missing him here in the -- in the briefing room today. And I know it will be a very touching and fitting event that celebrates an incredible career in journalism. Bob? Q: John, thanks for those final words about Mr. Singh. I do have two questions for you related to the transfer of authority from General Miller to General McKenzie. First one is, do General McKenzie's authorities to conduct airstrikes against the Taliban end on August 31? And the second question is when you mentioned that the airport security will be one of the four missions or purposes, what exactly -- have you worked what exactly U.S. troops would do at the airport? Will they be operating some sort of defensive weapon systems or what will they be doing? MR. KIRBY: On your first question about authorities, what I can tell you is, as I said in my opening statement that General McKenzie has all those authorities now, as did General Miller. So, he possesses them now. I'm not going to speculate about timing on that. But what I can tell you is that certainly throughout the remainder of the summer through the end of August General McKenzie has those authorities. I won't go beyond that in terms of schedule or speculating about what it would look like going forward. On the airport, I think you know Bob, we already have some and have for quite some time some troops dedicated to security at the airport. There's an air -- aviation support element there, there are some defensive capabilities and I would expect that without getting into details, to some degree and in some way that support will continue through the drawdown. Now what things look like after that and after we've continued to flush out all the details with Turkey, who has agreed to lead this security effort, we'll see. But, what that looks like going forward after the drawdown, but through the drawdown yes we will have requisite capabilities there at the airport to assist in the security. Q: But it's not clear that they would continue after August 31st? MR. KIRBY: I don't want to -- I don't want to get ahead of a decision making process that's not complete. We are still in discussions with the Turks about what security at the airport's going to look like. We're grateful for their willingness to lead this effort. You heard President Erdogan talk about that last week. We're still hammering out, as President Erdogan said, we're still hammering out the scope of what that is and as -- when we get all solidified we'll be able to talk in more detail. But I don't want to speculate about a specific future presence at the airport for American forces just yet. Q: Can I follow-up on the airport -- MR. KIRBY: Yes. Sure. Q: So instead there's a -- some kind of an agreement on a framework for the providing security for the airport by the Turkish side, but there's some -- I guess some sticking points that are still under discussion. Are you -- are you able to highlight which issues are still being discussed with the Turkish side? MR. KIRBY: I don't -- first of all, I would take issue with the description of sticking points. We've had some productive discussions with the Turks. We've been reading some of those calls out to you that the secretary has had himself with his counterpart. I don't believe I'd describe them as sticking points, but there are some modalities and some requirements that we're still working out with the Turks. And again, I don't think it would be useful for me to publicly conduct a negotiation here at the podium. We're still talking with them. And when we have it more solidified we'll be able to talk about it. Q: But is the U.S. open to the idea that they might have to provide some troops for the purpose of security at the airport in the future in Kabul? MR. KIRBY: We are working out what the future security requirements are going to be at the airport. I'm not going to speculate right now what that's going to look like. As I mentioned to Bob, of course we have some responsibilities there, have had for a long time, they're still in place. What it's going to look like when the drawdown is over I think we'll have to -- we'll have to get to later. It -- the only think I'd add is that the president has made it very clear we're going to maintain a diplomatic presence in Kabul. We know that in order to do that you have to have adequate security at the airport. So we are very aware of the need to adequate security at the airport so as to protect our diplomats and the work that they need to do in Afghanistan. I think I'll leave it at that. (J.J. Green ?) I think you're on the phone? Q: Yes John, can you hear me? MR. KIRBY: Yes I can. Q: We spoke some time ago about the Over the Horizon capability or capacity that the U.S. was working on and you've spoken about it some -- a couple times since then at the podium. Thanks for taking this question. But I wanted to ask you again, have -- are there anymore details about what that Over the Horizon capability would look like if it were necessary to utilize? MR. KIRBY: There is already an Over the Horizon capability and we can talk about what that looks like. We have bases and facilities that we can use in the Middle East region and are. We have a carrier strike group in the region and that is being utilized. We already had existing Over the Horizon counterterrorism capabilities. Now, would we like to be able to close down time and space and to make it faster and more efficient? Absolutely. And so, we are talking about and discussing with countries in the region about the possibilities of being able to use facilities and infrastructure that is closer to Afghanistan. I don't have any progress specifically to report out today on that, but it's something that we're actively discussing in concert with our State Department colleagues, but again we have now a robust over-the-horizon counterterrorism capability and we're using it. Q: Just a follow up on that. MR. KIRBY: Yes, sure. Go ahead. Q: Robust counterterrorism capability. If you have the ability to launch airstrikes why aren't you using them as the Taliban continues to take more territory in Afghanistan? MR. KIRBY: Lucas, I thought we talked about this one last week. I'll try again. The mission right now in Afghanistan -- I went through the four missions -- is to continue the drawdown. General McKenzie now has the authorities to assist the Afghan National Security Forces where and when he finds it feasible to do so, but he has those authorities. And as I also have said, the Afghans themselves have strike capability, Lucas. They have a good air force, a solid air force, and air force, by the way, that we're adding to and trying to improve the capability of. We're going to be giving them another 37 Blackhawk helicopters. That's more than they have right now, so in effect doubling their attack helicopter capability. We're purchasing for them three more Super Tucano strike aircraft -- fixed wing strike aircraft. And we've agreed to help refurbish their part -- a good part of their fleet of Mi-17 helicopters. They have a robust air force. The Taliban does not, and they could use that air force in a strike capacity in support of their -- of their troops on the ground. As we have said for quite sometime now, I think as you -- whatever the outcome are six to eight months from now, whatever it is we're going to be able to look back and we're going to be able to see that leadership -- Afghan leadership is really what made the difference or really what caused the outcomes to occur, Afghan civilian leadership, political leadership, and Afghan military leadership. This is their country. This is their fight. These are their people, and the president has been very clear that it is now time for them to meet those responsibilities. Barbara? Barbara? Q: I didn't actually hear an answer to Lucas's question either time, and I want to ask that and follow up. MR. KIRBY: Let me hear it before you follow up. I'm not going to repeat the whole thing again, but as I said General McKenzie has the authorities to assist the Afghans where he deems feasible. Q: The question I believe -- Lucas can correct me if I'm wrong -- is the Afghan -- the Taliban had continued with very aggressive campaign of violence and intimidation. To the best of our knowledge we have not seen coalition air forces in action against the Taliban. We're not asking you what -- I'm not asking you what capacity the Afghans have. I'm asking you why, number one, have U.S. coalition forces not been brought into the action. What is it that you're waiting for other than have an airport? MR. KIRBY: I never said that we haven't been brought into the action. I've never said that we haven't supported. Q: (inaudible) the airstrikes? MR. KIRBY: There have been moments during the drawdown where we have supported the Afghans, absolutely. Q: Can we get details on what the most recent airstrikes have been? MR. KIRBY: I think you can understand, Barbara, that given the situation that we're in that we're not going to be detailing everything we're doing to support, but it's -- it would be wrong to report that there's been no support to Afghan forces in the field during this drawdown. And as I said to Bob's question, the general still has those authorities to use when he deems fit, when it is most feasible to do so. Q: Can you at least give us some context? The drawdown's gone on for several months. Was it in the early days? Can you roughly tell us the last time there was a coalition airstrike? MR. KIRBY: I will not. I will not do that because the drawdown is ongoing and as I've said from the very beginning we have to assume that this drawdown's going to be contested, so we're going to be careful about the kind of information we're putting out there, but it would be wrong to conclude and accurate to report that we have not come to the assistance of the Afghan National Security Forces throughout this period of drawdown. Q: My other question is on the airport. You keep talking about future security requirements and the need to maintain security for the -- adequate security for the embassy in these future security requirements. So -- and that you're continuing to discuss this with the Turks about what these future security requirements are. So by definition does that mean that there is not currently adequate security at the airport because you are still having discussions about future security? And what is your assessment of the security situation at the airport? MR. KIRBY: It does not mean that. Q: How does it not mean that? Help me understand. MR. KIRBY: Because there is still -- the security at the airport has historically been a mission the Turks have contributed to under the resolute support umbrella, so they are there now and they've agreed to stay there. There are -- but as all forces draw down out of Afghanistan there are going to have to be adjustments made to who else is helping the Turks and in what way that help is being rendered. That's the discussion that we're going -- that's happening right now, and I'm simply not prepared because it's not complete to detail that for you. The secretary's comfortable that there's adequate security at the airport right now and is determined throughout the period of the drawdown to make sure that that security remains in place. Some of that security is being provided by the United States. What that's going to look like after the drawdown is over, we're just not there yet. Q: So what's your assessment of what the Taliban's goal is? MR. KIRBY: What's my assessment of... Q: What is the U.S. assessment that -- pardon me, what is the Defense Department's assessment of the goal of Taliban -- of the Taliban? MR. KIRBY: I'm going to make it a habit not to get inside the Taliban's headspace here, and I'm certainly not going to talk about intelligence assessments. It is clear from what they are doing that they have governance designs certainly of a national scale. It is clear from what they are doing that they believe there is a military solution to the end of this conflict. We continue to believe that the most sustainable and the most responsible end and solution to this war is a political one, one through negotiated diplomacy. A negotiated settlement that is Afghan-led. Nothing has changed about our desire to see that be the outcome. Q: So you think they want to take over (inaudible)? MR. KIRBY: I said they have -- clearly have governance designs of a national character because you can see it in the districts that they are trying to challenge and/or have occupied. Tom? Q: Thanks, John. I have two questions. One is a few briefings ago you mentioned that there would possibly or most likely be some kind of ceremony recognizing the end of the mission in Afghanistan. Paraphrasing slightly, but you -- that was the response you gave to a question. I am presuming, but please correct me, that today's ceremony is not what you were referring to, and if not when might -- is that still part of the plan? MR. KIRBY: You're right. Today is not the end of the mission, and I don't believe that General McKenzie or Secretary Austin could have made that more clear. Not the end. Just a milestone. Q: (inaudible) Yes. MR. KIRBY: And, obviously, the secretary wants to be able to recognize the service and sacrifice of the more than 800,000 U.S. troops who have fought and served in Afghanistan and there will be an appropriate time for that. There will be an appropriate place for that. And when we have something to announce, we certainly will. Q: I wanted to follow up on the Lucas and Barbara questions if I may please. MR. KIRBY: Of course. Q: I think it was in response to Barbara that you didn't want to say from the podium the detail, any kind of support -- specific incidents of support that the U.S. (inaudible) troops have given -- MR. KIRBY: That's right. Q: -- in part -- and please correct me if I misstate what you said, in part because there's a concern of being attacked on the way out by the Taliban and others. You don't want to -- MR. KIRBY: As I said, we -- from the very beginning, we have to assume that at any time this drawdown can be contested by the Taliban. So far we have had no casualties. Everybody has gotten out safely -- Q: Yes. MR. KIRBY: -- and efficiently and we want to keep that as the case. Q: So your theory is that by telling us, like say this happened three weeks ago we gained support -- I'm making that up, just to be clear -- that would possibly jeopardize this delicate balance we have now that there's been no casualties, no attacks? MR. KIRBY: I don't think I'd put it in your words. I would simply say that operational security is a prime concern and we want to be very careful about the information we release right now. Q: But the information that Barbara asked and Lucas and others about support, if indeed the coalition forces have supported the Afghan troops at some point in the past against the Taliban, wouldn't the Taliban already know that? I mean, why can't you tell us about something that has happened, if indeed it happened in support of the Afghan Forces against the Taliban who, I would think, knew what hit them already? MR. KIRBY: You're making a presumption that for some reason we're trying to -- we're trying to keep information from the Taliban -- Q: No, no, no -- MR. KIRBY: What we're trying to do -- no, Tom, wait. Just let me finish, please. What we're trying to do is protect our options going forward to make sure that the rest of this drawdown can be safe and orderly. And so we are being -- I'll just say it, we're being fairly miserly about the kind of operational information we're putting out there. I know that's an adjustment from how, over the last 20 years, we've talked about this war and our involvement in it. But this is a delicate time, Tom, a very delicate time. As you saw last week, Central Command said that we're just over 90% done with the drawdown, that means that you have less capability and you have less resources at your disposable -- disposal inside the country. So you want to be ultra-careful about the kind of information that's getting out there because the capabilities are now dwindling down and we got to be -- and we got to be careful. And we make no apologies for that. It's not about -- it's not about what the Taliban knows or doesn't know, it's about what we're putting out into the information space to make sure we preserve our options. So far, again, nobody's been hurt. We want to keep that going throughout the entirety of this drawdown process. Q: Thank you. Q: John, last week White House press secretary said that this war has not been militarily won. Does the U.S. military agree with that assessment? MR. KIRBY: I think we've said it all along -- and (inaudible) said it just a few minutes ago. We don't believe there's going to be a military solution here. It's got to be done politically. That is not a new talking point, it's not a new fact, it's not a new conclusion. We want to see a political settlement to this -- to this conflict, to this war in Afghanistan. But as for the United States, the president has made it clear that our participation is going to transition now. We're going to bring our troops home and we're going to transition to a new relationship with Afghan Forces going forward. Q: So, again, basically you are saying a different thing, right? She said the war has not been militarily won. It means that -- MR. KIRBY: We don't believe it -- because we don't believe that it can be solved militarily. Q: And the other one. So Taliban has taken over the country and then thousands of people are already running away from the Carthage (with ?) Tajikistan into Iran. Even some of them have arrived into Turkey. And then (inaudible) the large (Bagram ?) base without even saying goodbye to Afghans. Can you convince the world that this is something other than defeat, other than failure? MR. KIRBY: This is a conflict that is going to be solved politically and -- it's a responsibility that the Afghan people, the Afghan government, and Afghan Forces now have to be responsible for it. They'll have us helping and supporting them but it's their responsibility. This isn't about a defeat. It's about a transition to a new relationship with Afghan Forces and the fighting doesn't have to continue. I mean, you talk about it with this sense of inevitability that, frankly, I don't think we share, that there has to be more fighting, that the Taliban will take over the country. None of that is inevitable. And as I said earlier to Lucas, I think when we look back six or eight months from now, what we're going to see is the influence of leadership and how much political military leadership out of Afghan leaders there was to not make that inevitable. And let me just one more time, (please ?), you brought up Bagram, to go back on this again. There was full coordination in the turnover of Bagram Air Base, contrary to what I've seen in some press reporting. Full coordination. Days before, a walk through the whole base -- an aerial flyover of the whole base. A couple of days before, we hosted a couple of dozen Afghan engineers on the base to show them how to operate the electrical system and the water system. And I take issue with your characterization that we just walked out of Bagram without saying goodbye. First of all, it's not a goodbye. It was a turnover to them and their custodial -- their custodial responsibilities and it was done in full coordination. Now, I can't -- I can't stand up and say with certainty and assert to you that every soldier, every Afghan soldier, at or near Bagram got the word that -- what was happening. But I can assert to you that I've seen the documents, that, in fact, the turnover was done in a coordinated way with senior Afghan military and civilian leaders. There was no secret about it. Bagram was always going to be the last base turned over and the process of getting it ready for turnover was weeks long and months planned. Q: (Inaudible) again. Twenty years of war, and you called it 20 years (of ?) U.S. oppression inside Afghanistan and the (inaudible) years, the United States military? MR. KIRBY: What I can tell you is that the United States military accomplished the mission for which it was sent to Afghanistan, that was to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for another attack on the homeland. And there hasn't been one since 9/11. And Al-Qaeda, while present, is nowhere near the organization that it once was. I'm not saying that there aren't terrorist groups operating out of Afghanistan. There are. We've been fairly honest and open about that. But the threats that they pose to the homeland are radically reduced. As a matter fact, what we said is the threats have actually moved elsewhere in the region and into Africa. And we need to be able to focus resources and strategy against that threat as it continues to metastasize. So I can't speak for every veteran, and I wouldn't begin to do that because they're all entitled to their own opinions about their service and sacrifice over the last 20 years, but the mission for which the United States military was sent to Afghanistan was accomplished. Q: Thank you. MR. KIRBY: Let me get back to the phone. I've neglected that. Carla Babb? Q: Hey, John. I was -- I saw your -- hey, can you hear me? MR. KIRBY: Yes, actually I'm just -- my (iPad ?) died on me. One of the challenges of technology, so I just wanted to restart (it ?). Go ahead. Q: OK, great, I was just wondering -- I heard your comments with Fox News Sunday and I wanted you to talk about if there's a worry among officials at the Pentagon that -- I know you've said the Taliban victory is not inevitable, but is there a worry that the Taliban is wiping out and will continue to wipe out gains that the U.S. has fought for and died for alongside Afghans? MR. KIRBY: Carla, we are certainly concerned about the prospect that the social, economic, political progress that has been made in Afghanistan over the last 20 years could be harmed or put at peril by increasing Taliban advances. We're obviously concerned about that. We're not -- thank you -- we're not unmindful of the threats that are posed in that regard, which is why the president has made it clear we're going to maintain a diplomatic presence in Kabul so that our diplomats can continue to support those kinds of programs and initiatives. It's also why we're going to continue to have a bilateral relationship with Afghan forces going forward. It won't be the same. We're not going to be on the ground with them, but we will still be with them. We will still be helping them financially, logistically, and in other ways. That's why this is just a transition to a new relationship, it's not -- it's not the end of the relationship. Q: And then one other follow-up, if I may. Could I just -- I need to understand kind of where the buck (stops ?). What you had mentioned earlier about the air strikes, it seems to me based on what you had said that the U.S. is either not helping with the air strikes, it's not feasible according to General McKenzie for the U.S. to get in and (do ?) some of these air strikes, or the U.S. is helping with these airstrikes but not making a significant difference as the Taliban continues to make these gains. So who is making these decisions on the air strike? Who does the buck stop with? Is it -- is it General Miller or was it General Miller until today, and now will it be General McKenzie? How involved is the Pentagon involved in (these ?) decisions, or how involved is the Pentagon with these decisions, I should say? MR. KIRBY: So first on your list of three things that aren't happening, I take issue with all of them, Carla. I don't believe anybody has said any of those things. And as I said at the outset, General McKenzie now has the authorities that General Miller had and the decision-making ability for how he wants to or can or is feasible to support Afghan forces in the field. Idrees? Q: Hey John, can you hear me? Hey, can you hear me, John? MR. KIRBY: Yes I can. Q: I just want to pivot to Haiti really quick. The review that you guys are undertaking (under ?) request from the Haitian government, do you know when it will be complete? Are we talking days or weeks? And I just wanted to make sure I understand the (NSA ?) statement, it had (a ?) list of folks who went to Haiti. It didn't have any DOD officials, so I just wanted to make sure, no one from DOD was part of that delegation that went to Haiti and returned today, (right ?)? MR. KIRBY: Nobody from DOD was in that party that went down to Haiti. It was largely Department of Homeland Security and FBI, and it was to help the Haitians as they continue to investigate this terrible crime. And as for the requests, we are aware of it here at the Pentagon. We are reviewing it. We're going to do so carefully and make sure that we completely understand it and will be discussing it inside the (interagency ?) but I have no decisions to -- and certainly no timeline to provide you today. We're aware of it. We're reviewing it just like we would review any request for U.S. military assistance. If and when there is a decision to be able to speak to you about that we'll certainly do it. And we're many (more ?)? Yes. Q: OK. Thank you, John. I wanted to ask you about China's nuclear capabilities. Earlier this month the several U.S. (inaudible) reported the U.S. has began the construction of (silos ?) for ICBM in the northwest part of China. How much are you concerned about this new report? MR. KIRBY: I think we've already talked about this. We're -- I'm not going to get into intelligence assessments of Chinese nuclear capabilities. Writ large we remain concerned about China's modernization and the development of capabilities that in many ways seem to serve no other purpose than to try to prevent U.S. and allied access to areas of the Indo-Pacific. In our China -- our most recent China report we made no secret of the fact that we are aware that they continue to build out nuclear capabilities including the construction of silos. So we're mindful of this. We're certainly aware of it, and that is one of the reasons why the secretary has talked about this thing called integrated deterrence and revitalizing our alliances and partnerships in the region. Q: Just a quick follow up. The U.S. and China do not have a trusted (inaudible) to discuss the nuclear issue as the U.S. and (inaudible) have. So I'm wondering how you are going to convey the DOD's concurrent (function ?) guided straight (to ?) China and discuss the nuclear issues comprehensibly? MR. KIRBY: I just did. Paul Handley, AFP? OK, Stephen Losey, Military.com? Q: Hi, sorry. I was trying to find the mute button. Today marks the one-year anniversary of the Bonhomme Richard fire. Do you have any updates on where the investigation into that stands into the cause of it? And is it likely or expected we're going to see charges as a result of the investigation and what caused the fire there? MR. KIRBY: I really can't help you with that one. I would refer you to the Navy to speak to that. That's not something that would be appropriate coming from me today. The Navy's a much better place to go for an answer to that question. Yes. In the back there. Q: Thank you. My question on South China Sea. Today marks five year from the international (inaudible) decision on South China Sea which rejected Chinese historical claim on that area of the sea. How do the Pentagon assess this development of the situation in this five years? MR. KIRBY: Well I would just reiterate what you heard Secretary Blinken say just a couple of days ago. Freedom of the seas is an enduring interest of all nations, and it's vital to global peace and prosperity. The international community has long benefited from a rules-based maritime order where international law is reflected in the U.N. Law of the Sea Convention sets out the legal framework for all activities in the oceans and seas. This body of international law forms the basis for national, regional, and global action and cooperation in the maritime sector, and it's vital to ensuring the free flow of global commerce. Nowhere is the rules based maritime order under greater threat than it right now in the South China Sea five years later. The People's Republic of China continues to coerce and intimidate Southeast Asian coastal states, threatening freedom of navigation in this critical, global throughway. And for our sake we remain committed to the freedom of those seas. I got time for one more. Yes, ma'am? Q: So I'm wondering if you could talk a little bit more about the guide exercise or (inaudible) guide exercise? What kinds of goals are there of that exercise? How many days will it last? MR. KIRBY: It goes from July 8 to the 15. I think I said that in the opening statement. The focus is on rapidly developing capabilities needed to increase deterrence options with a data-centric, software-based approach. The events they're going to be conducting will combine people and technology to innovate and accelerate development for it looks like four things -- information awareness, information dominance, decisional superiority, and global integration. And if you have any other additional questions I'd point you to NORAD NORTHCOM. Go ahead, Lucas. Q: But you said there was going to be flyovers at the (department ?). MR. KIRBY: There is a fly event. Yes, there is a live fly event, but again, I'd refer you to NORTHCOM NORAD. Q: John, there's a piece in the Wall Street Journal speaking about the Navy saying if it comes to war will the U.S. Navy be prepared? That's the headline. There's a new report coming out for some retired (brass ?) saying a key finding in this report is, quote, "many sailors found their leadership distractive, captive to bureaucratic excess, and rewarded with the successful execution of administrative functions rather than the core competencies of war." And quotes of a senior enlisted leader saying I -- recently retired chief saying, "I guarantee you in every unit in the Navy is up to speed on their diversity training. I'm sorry that I can't say the same for their ship handling training." Any reaction to this report? MR. KIRBY: I think the Navy's already reacted to this, Lucas, and they have said that they welcome the insights that are provided in this report. They reiterate some of the things that they know they need to continue to work on and that they are working on it, and they welcome all input to help them as they continue to make sure that the surface community in the Navy continues to be the strongest and most viable surface fleet in the entire world. Q: Is the Pentagon and the Navy also welcome the comments from the former Navy Secretary John Lehman - a respected the (alumnus ?) of this (building ?) -- who said that former five-start admirals who won World War II made mistakes. Bill Halsey was, quote, consistently getting in trouble for bending the rules and drinking too much. Chester Nimitz put his first command on the rocks. Ernie King was a, quote, "womanizer". They were punished several times, but Navy leadership always realized they were very, very promising officers. None, he concludes, could have made it passed captain in today's Navy. Do you agree with that assessment? MR. KIRBY: Do I agree with the assessments of those former five-star admirals or... Q: Secretary Lehman's decision. MR. KIRBY: Yes. I -- look, I think obviously we have great respect for former Secretary John Lehman, and we certainly, as I said, we welcome all these insights and all the scrutiny over the United States Navy. And I think Navy leaders today understand well that their officers, their leaders, their petty officers, their sailors, they're human beings and that people do make mistakes. And again, nothing that I've seen coming out of this report certainly the Navy has talked to this stands in stark contrast to what the Navy itself and the surface community know they need to continue to work on and that they are. Q: (inaudible) Nimitz put his ships on the rocks as (inaudible) and he, of course, was still promoted to admiral. Could that happen in today's Navy? MR. KIRBY: I'm not going to speak to individual hypothetical incidents. Running a ship -- running a ship aground, Lucas, is generally frowned upon. (Laughter.) And the Navy has all kinds of ways of making due accountability for that, but look. Everybody here in leadership positions understands that our people are human and that there are mistakes and there are mistakes. Nobody's interested in having a zero defect mentality throughout the military. Not just the Navy but throughout the whole military. We take accountability serious for just that reason, and the responsibility that leaders have to hold everybody in their charge to as high a standard of conduct and behavior as possible. I want to pull back to what as I understand is the focus of this report and what Navy said about it is about making sure that we continue to have the most powerful Navy in the world, and you heard the secretary talk about this as recently as budget hearings just a few weeks ago. We do. It's the greatest maritime force ever in human history and it's going to stay that way. And the fact that it gets -- that it makes mistakes as an institution, the fact that there are things that need improvement, all of that is proof that one of the things that makes us so great is that we're willing to do -- no pun intended -- a little naval gazing and there's -- and we're self aware of issues that we need to be improved upon. And there aren't too many other maritime forces, navies, or even military forces around the world that can say the same thing, that they welcome scrutiny, they welcome criticism, and it's OK to hear from formers as well as members of Congress that there are things that need to be looked at or need to be improved upon. And as I said, as the Navy said, they're well aware of the issues that were raised and they track very closely and align with things they themselves have been working on to try to improve going forward.
Tournament V nations: scotland/angletere
A2 / France 2
MISTY COPELAND PRESSER ABC UNI / MARA CUTS / HD
CUTS OF MARA SCHIAVOCAMPO ASKING QUESTIONS AT LINCOLN CENTER PRESS CONFERENCE ON MISTY COPELAND BEING NAMED THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN PRINCIPAL DANCER WITH THE AMERICAN BALLET / 17:36:30 It's just been a very long road over the past maybe 3 years, I've been put out there in the media but it hasn't been an overnight sensation at all. It's been 13 14 years of extremely hard work and this season in particular been a lot of pressure for me, having the spotlight on me while I'm premiering such big roles 17:37:00 But I'm just so honored, so extremely honored, to be a PRINCIPAL DANCER, to be an African American, and to be in this position..and so proud of my fellow dancers who are also being promoted today, Stella ___ who's been with the company longer than I have, who represents what ABT stands for, 17:37:25 The hard work, the sacrifice, how she carries herself, that's someone I've looked up to throughout the course of my career and Cassie ___ promoted to soloist and Skylar Brant, Erin Scott, Thomas Forester, so it's an exciting day for all of us at ABT, just to see true American dancers who've grown up and come up through the ranks of ABT, it's just such a proud moment. REPORTER: Can you talk about how you got started, did you travel, based on that experience what this means? 17:38:05 I started dancing when I was 13 at the boys and girls club, which is not the typical path of someone who wants to make it into an elite ballet company. I trained for 4 years before being accepted into American Ballet Theater's summer intensive. I moved here when I was 17 years old and joined an ABT studio company when I was 18 17:38:27 I joined the court of Ballet at 19 and I was promoted to soloist at I think it was 24.. But again it's been such a long journey -- I've been doing second leads, principal roles for, I don't know, 7 years, and just this past September was the first time that I took on THE lead, which was Swan Lake -- and the first person that I saw that looked like me..was Lauren Anderson with Houston Ballet and to have her on the stage with me as I made my New York debut, presenting me flowers was just a dream come true and it was like everything coming full circle. 17:39:15 Also having Raven Wilkinson present flowers to me on the stage was incredible. Being a mentor to me and being the first African American woman to really make it in a high level international ballet company with the Ballet .. so it's been a long journey but it's just the beginning. 17:39:37 MARA: What would it have meant to you to see someone like you in your position when you were just starting and what do you think about when you think about all the young girls that are going to see you now? How does that feel? 17:39:47 MISTY: Um, I think I would have had a completely different path, had there been more before me. Maybe I wouldn't have worked as hard, I don't know but I think it would have just been a completely different path. I had moments of doubting myself and wanting to quit because I didn't know if there would be a future for an African American woman to make it to this level. At the same time it made me so hungry to push through to carry the next generation. So it's not me up here, and I'm constantly saying that, it's everyone that came before me and got me to this position and all the little girls that can see themselves through me, it's giving them a brighter future. 17:40:44 I think that it makes their dreams seem more tangible which I didn't necessarily have, especially with ABT because there hadn't been an African American female principal so I think for them, it's going to push them to keep striving. So many young dancers of color stop dancing at an early age because they just don't think that there will be a career path for them, so I hope that it will change that. 17:41:35 I think that as a dancer, just the way that the ballet technique and the atmosphere is structured, I think it really prepares you to handle a lot of stress, and a lot of pressure -- more than the normal person. For me I've just had to remember why I'm getting the attention I'm getting, and it's because of my dancing. It's because I'm a ballerina, and no other reason, and so that has to remain my main focus, and even with everything that's happening, I go into ballet class every morning. I work my butt off 8 hours a day because I know that I have to deliver when I get on stage. It's not this media thing that's been created. I have to go out there and perform live every night and prove myself, maybe more so than other dancers because people are assuming, why is she getting this attention? Is it really based on her dancing? 17:42:34 All of those things have come into play, especially this season when a lot of dancers can make their debut in roles and it kind of goes unnoticed, they're not getting reviewed, so it's a lot on my shoulders I think to have people judging and reviewing you when it's your first time doing something and of course it takes years and years to really hone a character and I'm just taking it one day at a time, one role at a time, one performance at a time and stay as focused as I can be and hopefully represent ABT in the best way that I can 17:43:26 Early on in my career as a court of ballet member, it was when I realized -- it wasn't something that was often talked about with me as a child. That I was different, that I African American and no one else was, and it's very rare to find an African American woman in classical ballet -- you know, that was not even something that was on my radar so when I joined the court of ballet, it was when I looked around and saw that I was the only one! In a company of 80 dancers and I think that's when I kind of stepped back and thought, is this really the path for me, do I really have a future here? 17:44:05 I considered dance theater of Harlem, because I'd be surrounded by people who looked like me and I would probably get every opportunity I wanted. And then I had to remind myself that ABT was my dream company, and that I would be giving up had I left. But there have been many moments throughout my career that -- when there hasn't been someone that's done it before you, there are moments of doubt. Why me? Will it ever happen for me? It's just been amazing to have the support that I've had around me, people that have pushed me to keep going 17:44:58 I think you have to have belief in yourself. Before anyone else, you really have to believe that you're good enough, you're worthy, and know that it's not easy. That you have to put in the work I think. But you also have to allow yourself to dream. 17:45:26 (EMOTIONAL CRYING) It just sounds so surreal to hear those words. No this is it. My dream has been ABT since I was 13 and to be a principal dancer is reaching those heights. And now I feel like I can breathe, but David Hallberg told me this morning, the hard work is just now starting, and I love a challenge, and I don't think I could be a part of this field if I didn't like to work hard, so I'm just excited to continue to do the roles that I've gotten to do this season and do more, and to continue to grow as an artist and hopefully see more brown dancers come into the company in my lifetime. 17:46:33 Yeah I mean I'll continue what I've always done, I don't think anything really gonna change within me bc of this, since i was 26 years old I've been mentoring and trying to give back in any way i can because it means so much to me to lend my experiences and wouldn't be here. I'll continue to do it yes 17:47:18 She asked me, what do you wanna do and I said well besides continue dancing at ABT, I want to bring more people to ballet, I want to see more people look like me on the stage in the school, and in the audience, on the board so it's been one of my goals and it's exciting to see some change 17:47:59 The amazing thing is I feel like everyone's always just looked at me as Misty -- and have been so extremely supportive and one of the ballet masters said to me, you know don't be offended by what I'm about to say, but I just look at you as a talented dancer that's worked extremely hard to get these roles, so I didn't even think twice that such a big deal for an African American woman to be doing Swan Lake -- I just think you deserve it, and that means so much to me. 17:48:38 Just to have that support within the company that I'm just one of them and I've worked hard supporting me the same way I'd support them 17:48:58 It doesn't happen often, we perform a lot -- this is our 8th week of the spring season and you rarely have those shows where you feel like everything went well and you get to that point, and it's surreal, and it takes a long time to come down from that high but you have to, cause you have to get up in the morning and do it all over again, but I think that's what we strive for each time we step onto the stage. Is that perfection that will never happen but also feeling.. 17:49:44 I haven't. I've been in rehearsal all day, so I haven't had a lot of opportunity to speak to everyone, but I will 17:50:00 You have these dreams of if it happens one day and how you'll react, and I think I've just kind of been numb all day. Just doesn't seem real. It was in a company meeting, so the entire company was there, and he made all of the announcements, Kevin McKenzie did, and he just looked at me and said Misty, take a bow, and that's how he said it. 17:50:37 In the fall. At the Coke Theater. 17:50:48 I think that the work load will be a little bit less. It's hard when you're in a transition period. When I was in the court of ballet, I was doing all of my core roles, I was also doing soloist roles, it was a lot on the body. And this season , I've been doing all of my soloist roles on top of principal roles, so it'll allow me to just focus on these major roles. At the same time, every single time you go on the stage, you're being looked at. So you can't hide behind the other swans anymore. 17:51:30 Just not to compare yourself to anyone. I think that's been a big one. Susan Jaffe, she's a former principal dancer here and she was really big on that, just be you. you can't be anyone else. be the best self that you can be. 17:51:57 I don't know if just because I'm a principal I'll do all of them. So it's hard to say, I mean I feel like I've already done so many of my dream roles -- to do Juliet again I can't wait, maybe Giselle. 17:52:31 Within ABT, there are 3 ranks -- court of ballet which is the largest body of dancers, that frame the soloists and principal dancers on the stage and create the atmosphere. Then there are soloists who have featured roles throughout a full length ballet and then the principal dancer is the lead in the ballet. 17:53:03 ..was a really big one for me. So it was really tough when she retired at the beginning of the season. I took that really hard. She was the first ballerina I saw perform live with ABT in California where I grew up. Julie Kent as well, seeing her leave, it's just the end of an era and it's exciting for us young dancers but just like oh my gosh, people are looking at us the way we looked at them. Kelsey Kirkland, ... Susan Jaffe, all dancers I looked up to, Lauren Anderson 17:53:50 Oh my gosh, no. I don't know. I wanna be known for my dancing. We work so hard at that every day and I think that means the most to me to continue to develop as an artist and a dancer and set an example for the next generation. No, not really. My little sister called me -- skyped me and I said I can't talk I'm in rehearsal! But I haven't had a chance to really talk to anyone yet. I'm 32. I'm the only dancer in the family. ###
MISTY COPELAND PRESSER ABC UNI / HD
LINCOLN CENTER IS THE PRESS CONFERENCE ON MISTY COPELAND BEING NAMED THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN PRINCIPAL DANCER WITH THE AMERICAN BALLET / 17:36:30 It's just been a very long road over the past maybe 3 years, I've been put out there in the media but it hasn't been an overnight sensation at all. It's been 13 14 years of extremely hard work and this season in particular been a lot of pressure for me, having the spotlight on me while I'm premiering such big roles 17:37:00 But I'm just so honored, so extremely honored, to be a PRINCIPAL DANCER, to be an African American, and to be in this position..and so proud of my fellow dancers who are also being promoted today, Stella ___ who's been with the company longer than I have, who represents what ABT stands for, 17:37:25 The hard work, the sacrifice, how she carries herself, that's someone I've looked up to throughout the course of my career and Cassie ___ promoted to soloist and Skylar Brant, Erin Scott, Thomas Forester, so it's an exciting day for all of us at ABT, just to see true American dancers who've grown up and come up through the ranks of ABT, it's just such a proud moment. REPORTER: Can you talk about how you got started, did you travel, based on that experience what this means? 17:38:05 I started dancing when I was 13 at the boys and girls club, which is not the typical path of someone who wants to make it into an elite ballet company. I trained for 4 years before being accepted into American Ballet Theater's summer intensive. I moved here when I was 17 years old and joined an ABT studio company when I was 18 17:38:27 I joined the court of Ballet at 19 and I was promoted to soloist at I think it was 24.. But again it's been such a long journey -- I've been doing second leads, principal roles for, I don't know, 7 years, and just this past September was the first time that I took on THE lead, which was Swan Lake -- and the first person that I saw that looked like me..was Lauren Anderson with Houston Ballet and to have her on the stage with me as I made my New York debut, presenting me flowers was just a dream come true and it was like everything coming full circle. 17:39:15 Also having Raven Wilkinson present flowers to me on the stage was incredible. Being a mentor to me and being the first African American woman to really make it in a high level international ballet company with the Ballet .. so it's been a long journey but it's just the beginning. 17:39:37 MARA: What would it have meant to you to see someone like you in your position when you were just starting and what do you think about when you think about all the young girls that are going to see you now? How does that feel? 17:39:47 MISTY: Um, I think I would have had a completely different path, had there been more before me. Maybe I wouldn't have worked as hard, I don't know but I think it would have just been a completely different path. I had moments of doubting myself and wanting to quit because I didn't know if there would be a future for an African American woman to make it to this level. At the same time it made me so hungry to push through to carry the next generation. So it's not me up here, and I'm constantly saying that, it's everyone that came before me and got me to this position and all the little girls that can see themselves through me, it's giving them a brighter future. 17:40:44 I think that it makes their dreams seem more tangible which I didn't necessarily have, especially with ABT because there hadn't been an African American female principal so I think for them, it's going to push them to keep striving. So many young dancers of color stop dancing at an early age because they just don't think that there will be a career path for them, so I hope that it will change that. 17:41:35 I think that as a dancer, just the way that the ballet technique and the atmosphere is structured, I think it really prepares you to handle a lot of stress, and a lot of pressure -- more than the normal person. For me I've just had to remember why I'm getting the attention I'm getting, and it's because of my dancing. It's because I'm a ballerina, and no other reason, and so that has to remain my main focus, and even with everything that's happening, I go into ballet class every morning. I work my butt off 8 hours a day because I know that I have to deliver when I get on stage. It's not this media thing that's been created. I have to go out there and perform live every night and prove myself, maybe more so than other dancers because people are assuming, why is she getting this attention? Is it really based on her dancing? 17:42:34 All of those things have come into play, especially this season when a lot of dancers can make their debut in roles and it kind of goes unnoticed, they're not getting reviewed, so it's a lot on my shoulders I think to have people judging and reviewing you when it's your first time doing something and of course it takes years and years to really hone a character and I'm just taking it one day at a time, one role at a time, one performance at a time and stay as focused as I can be and hopefully represent ABT in the best way that I can 17:43:26 Early on in my career as a court of ballet member, it was when I realized -- it wasn't something that was often talked about with me as a child. That I was different, that I African American and no one else was, and it's very rare to find an African American woman in classical ballet -- you know, that was not even something that was on my radar so when I joined the court of ballet, it was when I looked around and saw that I was the only one! In a company of 80 dancers and I think that's when I kind of stepped back and thought, is this really the path for me, do I really have a future here? 17:44:05 I considered dance theater of Harlem, because I'd be surrounded by people who looked like me and I would probably get every opportunity I wanted. And then I had to remind myself that ABT was my dream company, and that I would be giving up had I left. But there have been many moments throughout my career that -- when there hasn't been someone that's done it before you, there are moments of doubt. Why me? Will it ever happen for me? It's just been amazing to have the support that I've had around me, people that have pushed me to keep going 17:44:58 I think you have to have belief in yourself. Before anyone else, you really have to believe that you're good enough, you're worthy, and know that it's not easy. That you have to put in the work I think. But you also have to allow yourself to dream. 17:45:26 (EMOTIONAL CRYING) It just sounds so surreal to hear those words. No this is it. My dream has been ABT since I was 13 and to be a principal dancer is reaching those heights. And now I feel like I can breathe, but David Hallberg told me this morning, the hard work is just now starting, and I love a challenge, and I don't think I could be a part of this field if I didn't like to work hard, so I'm just excited to continue to do the roles that I've gotten to do this season and do more, and to continue to grow as an artist and hopefully see more brown dancers come into the company in my lifetime. 17:46:33 Yeah I mean I'll continue what I've always done, I don't think anything really gonna change within me bc of this, since i was 26 years old I've been mentoring and trying to give back in any way i can because it means so much to me to lend my experiences and wouldn't be here. I'll continue to do it yes 17:47:18 She asked me, what do you wanna do and I said well besides continue dancing at ABT, I want to bring more people to ballet, I want to see more people look like me on the stage in the school, and in the audience, on the board so it's been one of my goals and it's exciting to see some change 17:47:59 The amazing thing is I feel like everyone's always just looked at me as Misty -- and have been so extremely supportive and one of the ballet masters said to me, you know don't be offended by what I'm about to say, but I just look at you as a talented dancer that's worked extremely hard to get these roles, so I didn't even think twice that such a big deal for an African American woman to be doing Swan Lake -- I just think you deserve it, and that means so much to me. 17:48:38 Just to have that support within the company that I'm just one of them and I've worked hard supporting me the same way I'd support them 17:48:58 It doesn't happen often, we perform a lot -- this is our 8th week of the spring season and you rarely have those shows where you feel like everything went well and you get to that point, and it's surreal, and it takes a long time to come down from that high but you have to, cause you have to get up in the morning and do it all over again, but I think that's what we strive for each time we step onto the stage. Is that perfection that will never happen but also feeling.. 17:49:44 I haven't. I've been in rehearsal all day, so I haven't had a lot of opportunity to speak to everyone, but I will 17:50:00 You have these dreams of if it happens one day and how you'll react, and I think I've just kind of been numb all day. Just doesn't seem real. It was in a company meeting, so the entire company was there, and he made all of the announcements, Kevin McKenzie did, and he just looked at me and said Misty, take a bow, and that's how he said it. 17:50:37 In the fall. At the Coke Theater. 17:50:48 I think that the work load will be a little bit less. It's hard when you're in a transition period. When I was in the court of ballet, I was doing all of my core roles, I was also doing soloist roles, it was a lot on the body. And this season , I've been doing all of my soloist roles on top of principal roles, so it'll allow me to just focus on these major roles. At the same time, every single time you go on the stage, you're being looked at. So you can't hide behind the other swans anymore. 17:51:30 Just not to compare yourself to anyone. I think that's been a big one. Susan Jaffe, she's a former principal dancer here and she was really big on that, just be you. you can't be anyone else. be the best self that you can be. 17:51:57 I don't know if just because I'm a principal I'll do all of them. So it's hard to say, I mean I feel like I've already done so many of my dream roles -- to do Juliet again I can't wait, maybe Giselle. 17:52:31 Within ABT, there are 3 ranks -- court of ballet which is the largest body of dancers, that frame the soloists and principal dancers on the stage and create the atmosphere. Then there are soloists who have featured roles throughout a full length ballet and then the principal dancer is the lead in the ballet. 17:53:03 ..was a really big one for me. So it was really tough when she retired at the beginning of the season. I took that really hard. She was the first ballerina I saw perform live with ABT in California where I grew up. Julie Kent as well, seeing her leave, it's just the end of an era and it's exciting for us young dancers but just like oh my gosh, people are looking at us the way we looked at them. Kelsey Kirkland, ... Susan Jaffe, all dancers I looked up to, Lauren Anderson 17:53:50 Oh my gosh, no. I don't know. I wanna be known for my dancing. We work so hard at that every day and I think that means the most to me to continue to develop as an artist and a dancer and set an example for the next generation. No, not really. My little sister called me -- skyped me and I said I can't talk I'm in rehearsal! But I haven't had a chance to really talk to anyone yet. I'm 32. I'm the only dancer in the family. ###
Five Nations Tournament. Scotland - France
A2 / France 2
Rugby: France - Canada
A2 / France 2
SENATE HELP COMMITTEE HEARING BETSY DEVOS CONFIRMATION HEARING 1900 WITNESS ISO
Senate HELP with Betsy DeVos, nominee for Education WITNESS ISO FS41X88 SENATE HEALTH EDUCATION LABOR AND PENSIONS COMMITTEE FULL COMMITTEE HEARING Nomination of Betsy DeVos to serve as Secretary of Education Witnesses Betsy DeVos Grand Rapids , MI 19:00:00 DEVOS: Actually, I believe there is a lot that has gone right in Detroit and in Michigan with regard to charter schools. And the notion that there haven't been accountability is just wrong. It is false news. If it is false news. It is not correct at all. The reality is that charter schools in Michigan have been accountable, fully accountable, to their overseeing bodies and to the state since their history, 122 -- BENNETT: Why are there so many failing charter schools in Michigan? DEVOS: 122 charter schools have been closed since charter schools came into existence in Michigan. the reality today is that students attending charter schools in the City of Detroit are getting three months on average more learning than their counterparts in the traditional public schools. The recent legislation that was passed now actually brings all schools in Detroit under accountability, including the traditional schools. here before there has never been a traditional public school that has been closed due to poor performance. And so finally, there -- for the people of Detroit, there is accountability across the board and I'm pleased and thankful that.. BENNETT: I'm out of time, and I apologize. I would like to say this, Mrs. DeVos. Thank you for your willingness to do this. And I would like to invite you to Denver to the Denver public schools, if you are willing to come, to see what we are working on there. DEVOS: I would love to do that. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Senator Bennett. Senator Young YOUNG: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And Mrs. DeVos, thank you so much for putting yourself forward for this position. I think you will make a fine secretary of education. I would like to bring up to your attention something we discussed in our office. And we spent quite a bit of time talking about teachers. I think you actually started talking about teachers. it was encouraging here today in your prepared remarks, you said we are blessed beyond measure by educators who pour themselves into their students. I share with you -- I am a father of four young children, age 10 and under and I have really come to appreciate how essential it is to have prepared teachers who are empowered to do their very best work and immersed in an atmosphere that is supportive. That is my objective in part in sitting on this committee is to try and play a constructive role in that process, hopefully working with you. My wife, her family is full of teachers and in fact, a number of them are still teaching today in a low income town in Indiana. Paoli, Indiana. I would like to look to the evidence. And I am always open to the evidence from all comers. But there is a 2007 study, all that data by McKenzie and company, they examine education systems all around the world to try to figure out what works. What makes for an effective education environment. And it wasn't the amount of money spent for students. In fact, we tried that in this country. in 1970, the cost to educate a student was roughly $57,000 adjusting for inflation 40 years later, it is $165,000 per student. We know right there, it is not money. what McKenzie found that one of the most important factor is the quality of our teachers. I feel very strongly that we need to remove barriers to quality teaching and enable and equip these teachers to do their very best work. And as someone who studied this issue extensively, I would like to get your thoughts on how we might do that. DEVOS: Well, thank you, senator. I did enjoy our meeting in your office as well, talking about these issues. I believe, first, let me restate again that a quality teacher cannot be -- the importance of a quality teacher cannot be overstated. I think that the opportunities abound for empowering and re-empowering teachers in a new way, unleashing and unencumbering them with a lot of rules and regulations today that really prohibit and inhibit creativity and innovation with their students. You know, when you take a step back and look at how we deliver education today, for the most part, it has not changed significantly in a century and a half. and yet, the world has changed significantly. And so I think that ere is a great opportunity. And this goes for teachers of all kinds of schools and all varieties, and that is to really empower them in a new way to do what they do best. And I know that in a couple of the states, when charter schools were actually introduced, the teacher, those that founded the charter schools were actually teachers who were wanting to express themselves in a different way and found a new opportunity to unleash from their previous circumstances. YOUNG: Thanks. And my remaining 90 seconds here, I will just emphasize that I spent the last four years in the house of representatives focused in the main on trying to ascertain whether or not our social support programs, those programs that are targeted towards helping the poor, the needy, the vulnerable, those who need a hand up in society, whether or not those programs are working. And what I discovered is there are roughly 80 of these programs, depending upon how you count them, of these 80, only 12 have ever been rigorously evaluated using the gold standard of evaluation, randomized controlled trial, and of those 12, only 1 has been found to meaningfully work and even that one was a bit complicated. So we need to apply evidence-based approaches to the education system in the same sort of way and just stare at the evidence and let it guide us accordingly, hopefully in a bipartisan way. And do I have your assurance that you will operate in this fashion? It's a threshold issue for me. DEVOS: Absolutely, Senator. I think it's a great opportunity. And if confirmed, I would look forward to working with you on that. YOUNG: All right. Thank you. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Senator Young. Senator Whitehouse. WHITEHOUSE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Good evening, Mrs. DeVos. Welcome to the committee. It is reputed at least that Sigmund Freud said there are times when a cigar is just a cigar. And there are times when charter schools are just charter schools. And I think when that is the case, everybody in this room supports them. Certainly we have a very strong charter school community in Rhode Island. But there are times when it appears that charter schools are used as a wedge to attack public education, and the signals of that tend to be that failing charter schools are protected compared to failing public schools. the standards really aren't there. as I say in Rhode Island, we demand a lot from our charter schools. they succeed, very well, we are proud of them. But I have read that 80% of charter schools in Michigan are run by for- profit entities, and most of them perform below the state average, suggesting that a failing charter school is automatically better than a successful traditional public school in the view of that system. We in Rhode Island would not want to see that system move into Rhode Island or moved to a national level. Second signal is when the charter school advocates fail to recognize, as I believe you have actually recognized, that there are ongoing costs and responsibilities that a traditional public school must continue to shoulder even as students leave with their funding for charter schools. And that is so clear a proposition now that the investment service Moody's has written about it and talked about the danger of a downward spiral because it actually adds costs when you have to maintain the public traditional school and the charter school until the system can adjust. Can you assure us that your desire for charter schools is sincere, and that as secretary of education, you will steer away from efforts to deny traditional public school funding the funding they need to manage the charter school transition, and you will make sure that charter schools have to live up to their promise and you are not just going after traditional public schools when they are available? DEVOS: Senator, thank you for that question. Let me begin by again stating that my advocacy and my orientation is really around parents and students and their choosing the right education for their children. And so when parents choose charter schools, they are doing so because they think that it is a better spot for their children. You have my commitment that I will be an advocate for all great schools, no matter their form, their version. I will be an advocate for parents being able to make those choices. Because their -- WHITEHOUSE: I get that, but the question is, do you understand when the parent make that choice and the child moves to the charter school and the funding moves with the child, that leaves a funding gap at the previous school that it can't instantaneously or magically fill. That is a real problem that Moody's. DEVOS: Indeed, and I think this is a good example of an issue that is best addressed at the state level by each state and acknowledging that each state will have unique circumstances in that regard. WHITEHOUSE: The problem is that it will be hard to address that at the state level if you make the federal department of education a crusader for moving kids to charter schools without any recognition of the legacy cost of the public school system. If it is your intention to create a downward spiral, that is not solved by different state policies. that is where we need you as secretary of education to commit to recognize that there is this problem, and you will keep in mind not only the charter schools and the parents going there, but the traditional schools and the parents staying there. DEVOS: Well certainly, as we spoke in your office, I think that this is an issue, and is probably unique to some states more than it is to others. But again, I will refer back to the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act, and the opportunities states have to address the unique challenges of their states. I will be a crusader for parents and students and the quality of their education, not for specific arrangements of how school is delivered. WHITEHOUSE: Let me ask you one other quick question. for 10 years you served on the board of the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty which calls climate change unfounded and of undue concern. You and your husband have contributed to the Thomas Moore Law Center, touting itself as the sword and shield of people of faith, which has repeatedly promoted fake science and even going so far as to represent the Dover Area school district of Pennsylvania and the lawsuit over the adoption of a biology textbook including intelligent design. The S in Stem, which everybody is for is Science. If school districts around the country tried to teach students junk science, will the Department of Education be with the students or with the political entities trying to force the junk science into the science programs? DEVOS: Well Senator, I think it is pretty clear is that the expectation is science is taught in public schools. I support the teaching of great science and especially science that allows students to exercise critical thinking and to really discover and examine in new ways. And science to be supported at all levels. WHITEHOUSE: I would have liked, Mr. Chairman, to make inquiries about Pell grants to follow up on some of these answers which were directed towards the question but maybe not completely responsive to the question and to ask were the department will go on this nightmarish problem of college for profits that have taken these kids and robbed them of their education, robbed them of their money and set them loose with a piece of paper that is not worth anything. But I believe this is -- and as I said, 'm very fond of you, and I'm very fond of this committee, and I don't recall ever being told that I could never have a second round in a hearing as a matter of principle before. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Senator Whitehouse. I'm going to take my five-minute round now and go back to something that Mrs. DeVos brought up and something that several senators brought up. I want to talk about the law that the president called the Christmas miracle that this committee produced, which fixed No Child Left Behind. It was passed in December 2015 under the current administration. The plans are, under the law we call ESA. Senator Franken may have been the first person to suggest that. But the plan -- no, I should have known better. The department is planning, is on a path to save the states. every state will have to get their new title I plan and to get their federal money and their title 2 plan, which really a tremendous opportunity to take advantage of the innovation states that wanted the flexibilities we have given them. The current administration is on a path to say to states, get your plans in, we will approve them in the spring or summer. you can implement the plans in the school year that begins next year. But will you, is it your intention to continue on that path, on that schedule? DEVOS: Absolutely, senator, and if there is any confusion or confusion -- questions around the transition, rest assured it will be a high-priority if confirmed for me to ensure that the plan is adhered to and that the law is implemented, as you all intended. ALEXANDER: My guess is in most of our states, plans are being circulated among various groups. And people will, if you are confirmed, people will be looking for a signal from you that you can get your plan in Spring or Summer, and we will try to approve it or consider it so that you can get onto the next year. My second question is, as you can tell we have considerable differences of opinion here in the committee, and we resolved them well enough to pass a bill that I think 85 of us voted for -- we worked out some difficult issues. We even put what Senator Murray likes to call guardrails on the states, and we even put some guardrails on the secretary of education, which my colleagues on the democratic side may now think better of, that we did that. But would you -- what is your attitude toward respecting the authority that congress gives you and trying to implement the law according to the way it is written rather than trying to legislate from where you are? For example, you believe very strongly in giving low income parents more choices of schools. We debated that and only got 45 votes for Senator Scott's bill and for my bill so it's not in a law. Would you then try to write a regulation to implement that through the US Department of Education even though congress couldn't do it? DEVOS: Senator, it would be my goal, if confirmed, to implement laws as you intended them. I acknowledge that it is your role to write laws and pass laws, and it would be the department's role to implement as intended. And that is my commitment. ALEXANDER: So you wouldn't be -- no matter how strongly you feel about school choice, for example, you wouldn't be prepared to mandate Washington State or Tennessee adopt a particular school of choice plan? DEVOS: No, I would hope I can convince you all of the merit of that in maybe some future legislation, but certainly not any kind of mandate from within the Department. ALEXANDER: The scholarship for kids legislation that I proposed that got 45 votes, which was not enough, and that Senator Scott proposed a more limited version that had to do with students with disabilities, basically said that -- I state, we can take $24 billion of federal dollars we now spend, $24 billion of the federal dollars we now spend, and a state could choose to take it's share of that money and turn it into $2,100 scholarships and let it follow the students through the schools that the state chose. So if the state did not approve of dollars going to private school or religious schools, that were accredited, it didn't have to do that, or if they did that, which I think 25 do -- it could do that. So in that case, it would allow the states to make the decision and the parents to make the choice, rather than Washington giving an order you have to do school choice. Is that the kind of school choice proposal that you would support or not? DEVOS: Yes, absolutely. We have seen a wide variety of approaches to school choice including private school choice in the now 25 states in which programs exist. And so I think it would really be dependent on each state's political realities and culture and how they wanted to approach that opportunity and that option, or if they wanted to expand it. that would be another alternative as well. ALEXANDER: Thank you. Senator Baldwin. BALDWIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I wanted to weigh in also that I hope we will get additional opportunity to ask questions. I would like it to be not in writing but to give the American people the chance to hear the exchange and responses. Mr. Chairman, I also associate myself with the concerns raised by our ranking member regarding the holding of this hearing prior to receipt of the Office of Government Ethics plan for elimination of possible conflicts of interest. Mrs. DeVos, you had the chance to answer questions already about your family's indirect investments and for-profit companies, including finance and performance, which I understand to be a collection agency that specializes in student debt collection. So I won't repeat those there, but let me get to the ethics agreement that will be forthcoming. what decision you will need to make is whether to take advantage of Section 1043 of the internal revenue code which allows you to defer capital gains taxes on the sale of assets divested in order to comply with ethics rules? This provision can allow wealthy individuals to save hundreds of millions of dollars. it is why when I became aware of this and I joined Senators Whitehouse and Warren on this committee, as well as our colleague senator Feinstein, in introducing a bill to close this loophole or at least limit the amount of capital gains that could be deferred to $1 million. Because we don't have your financial information yet from the Office of Government Ethics, my question to you is, are you planning on taking advantage of this tax loophole? DEVOS: Senator, thank you for that question. Let me just restate again that I look forward to the ethics agreement finalization with the Office of Government Ethics and committed to ensuring that I have no conflict and will go forward with no conflicts. With respect to your specific question, I do not intend to take advantage of that loophole. I have already made that conclusion, that decision. In fact, it would probably be useful to note here that again, if confirmed, I will only take a salary of one dollar so I can be official, but I don't intend to take a salary either. BALDWIN: I also listened carefully to your opening statement in your exchange with Senator Franken related to your sizable donations to a number of anti-LGBT organizations that have been associated with advocacy for the discredited practice of conversion therapy, I was heartened by your response, I will say. but I will note that these same organizations, anti-LGBT organizations, also have been hostile to nondiscrimination protections, issues like adoption, marriage equality. Given the alarm that parents have expressed to me about these donations to anti-LGBT organizations, I guess I want to ask, I mean, I assume there are LGBT students and their parents watching tonight. What would you say to them to assure them that you are going to use your position as secretary to support LGBT students or students with LGBT parents? DEVOS: Thank you, senator. Let me restate again I embrace equality, and I firmly believe in the intrinsic value of each individual, and that every student should have the assurance of a safe and discrimination-free place to become educated. I want to restate those principles of values for me. Let me comment to the things you have referred to again and suggest that you may be confusing some other family members in some of those contributions. Also, looking at contributions from 18 or 20 years ago. So I just want to again refer to what I just said about my approach. If I -- as a mom, I just can't imagine having a child that would feel discriminated against for any reason, and I would want my child in a safe environment. BALDWIN: I note that I have run out of time. Mr. Chairman, I have many more questions that I would like to propound. I will say, Mrs. DeVos, if you think that there is -- and we have been fairly general given our restricted time about the issue of charitable conservations if you will or contributions to these anti-LGBT advocacy organizations, if you feel like there has been a family member who has contributed and you are being identified in the public record is incorrect, please in writing, follow-up. I have certainly seen information quite to the contrary. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Senator Baldwin. Senator Roberts? ROBERTS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding the hearing. I thank the ranking member as well. Mrs. DeVos, thank you for being responsive, articulate, informed, and in my view, specific. I suppose, Mr. Chairman, all members could submit any specific questions they have for the record, and when did we have a time period on that, and if they had any concern they could always speak on the senate floor. Thank you for coming by my office. We had a nice visit. I let you know way back that I had the opportunity to teach also while trying to put out a newspaper on the west side of Phoenix, not Kansas but Phoenix. But at any rate, I know you fully understand the one-size-fits- all education system just does not work. you said that in your testimony. And I told you that I held a roundtable discussion in Kansas at Washburn University in Topeka with 12 college presidents , we got all of them except a few, and 12 business stakeholders, very important to those universities, to discuss higher education and workforce development given the fact that we will attempt to pass a Higher Education Bill. in particular I heard from the higher education leaders about the impact of federal programs, obviously, policies obviously, but more especially regulation on Kansas institutions of higher education. During our meeting last month in my office, I shared with you and information chart. I need a bigger chart. like the guy who said he needed a bigger boat with the shark coming after him. maybe that is not a proper allegory, but any way, these are 34 topics or areas of federal regulation. some of them are very, very, very important, but the collective judgment was that they were so intrusive, so expensive, so time-consuming was that they had to get an office of the compliance just to look at federal regulations. And then the assigned bad news bearers will go tell all the various departments that make up the Johnson County Community College, which, by the way, has the highest enrollment of any university or college in Kansas, more than the Jayhawks, more than the Wildcats, and more than the charters. And these 34 areas of federal regulation, so costly and impactful to the school, basically indicate that we need to work together to eliminate many of these burdensome regulation that hinder the institutions of higher education main goal to educate our students effectively and efficiently. So as you know, I think everybody, I think I would have agreement on the other side of the dais as well, regulations are one of the key areas this committee will focus on as we work the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. Will you be a partner in addressing many of these time-consuming regulations? DEVOS: Senator, thanks for the question, and thanks for meeting in your office. I appreciate seeing the chart again. As I am a visual learner, I really appreciate that one in particular. But yes, I can commit to you that if confirmed, I will look forward to working with you and this committee on that Act and on the regulations you have referred to. And wanting to help free our institutions of higher learning to the greatest extent possible to do what they do best. ROBERTS: Being an ombudsman for Kansas education, along with my fellow senator, it is tough when you try to go directly to the person who is in charge of that department, namely you. and I tried that before sitting down across from President Obama and complaining about regulations under his executive order to make sure every department ascribed to a cost-benefit yardstick, if you will. That did not happen. The person in charge that was supposed to get back to me was his right arm, Dennis, Dennis was in charge of war and peace and other things. I am going to recommend that maybe I ought to do it regionally. Obviously we have had people from rural areas, urban areas -- it is going to be terribly important that we get to somebody that can actually see the problem report back to you or to somebody else in your department. You can't do all this, I don't know anybody that can. But at least when we have a real problem with the 12 universities or for that matter five or six or even one, saying here is a regulation that doesn't make sense, can we at least address it? Maybe we can tweak it and maybe we can get rid of it or maybe we can do better. So I hope you can work out some kind of SWAT team, if you will, with regards to overregulation. Because that really, was the number one issue that I heard. Thank you. DEVOS: Thank you, senator. I think that sounds like a great idea. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Senator Roberts. Senator Murphy. MURPHY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. If Senator Alexander decided to allow us more than a meager five minutes of questions, Mrs. DeVos, do you have anywhere to be tonight? Would you be able to stick around and answer those questions? DEVOS: I am going to defer to the chairman on this. MURPHY: I assume you probably don't have other obligations. Let me just count myself out, I think this is a real shame, this rush job, this inability to allow the public to see this debate. Imperative to get this hearing in before we have all of the information. it really violates the best traditions of this committee and it suggests that this committee is trying to protect the nominee from scrutiny. And I hope we would reconsider. Mrs. DeVos, let me rush through these questions in the time that I have. Your family has been investors in a company called k12, a for-profit online charter operator. Gets about 80% of its money from federal or state taxpayers and it paid its CEO over $1 million in the first year, made millions and millions of dollars in profit. I can go through a long litany of examples in which people have made their fortune off of public education dollars, charter school principal in Orlando who got $519,000 payout when his school or her school was closed for poor performance. I guess my question is simple, do you support companies and individuals profiting from public education dollars that is essentially taking money away from students to pay salaries for CEOs and return for investors? DEVOS: Senator, thank you for that question. Let me just say that when it comes to education, I think what is important is what the outcomes are, what the achievements are. And I don't think the delivery mechanism is the issue as much as it is our students receiving the -- are students receiving the benefit of a great education. MURPHY: Have you met many principals in Detroit that say they have enough, they don't need any more? DEVOS: I can't really answer that question. I have not asked them specifically if they have enough. MURPHY: So if we can't agree folks shouldn't get rich off of schools, then maybe we can agree that they shouldn't be getting rich off oft terrible schools. You and I had a chance to talk in my office about the accountability regulations that were a big part of the underlying new federal education law. The department has issued final regulations that incorporate comments of basically everyone in the education field to make sure that to the extent public dollars are flowing to private schools, that they meet real standards, these accountability regulations are supported by the council of chief state school officers, the school superintendents association, civil rights groups, teachers unions. Can you assure this committee you are going to implement those accountability regulations to make sure all schools are performing and not throw ESSA implementation to chaos for states and districts around the country? Are you going to implement those accountability regulations? DEVOS: Senator, let me just restate again that I think accountability is highly important, and I support accountability for all schools, which is why I supported the most recent legislation in Michigan that is now holding all schools, including traditional public schools accountable for poor performance. And I will continue to support accountability. And I will continue to support the implementation of Every Student Succeeds Act as congress has intended it. MURPHY: So just let me ask you again. Are you going to support the implementation of existing regulations supported by a wide cross- section of the educational community that requires schools to come up with their own accountability standards, state and local-based, that will require that all schools meet some basic performance standards? I am asking you a specific question about this existing regulation and whether you are going to support it or whether you are going to use your position to undermine it or to change it. DEVOS: Well, as would be tradition with the change of administrations, I will look forward to reviewing that and again, I will restate my orientation to pro-accountability and pro- responsibility to parents and taxpayers. MURPHY: I think that is going to raise a lot of questions for administrators and school superintendents who are now trying to implement that regulation. One final question, do you think guns have any place in or around schools? DEVOS: I think that is best left to locales and states to decide. If the underlying question is -- MURPHY: You can't say definitively today that guns shouldn't be in schools? DEVOS: I will refer back to Senator Enzi and the school he was talking about in Wapiti, Wyoming. I think probably there, I would imagine that there is probably a gun in the schools to protect from potential grizzlies. MURPHY: If president trump moves forward with his plan to ban gun free school zones, will you support that proposal? DEVOS: I will support what the president-elect does. But Senator, if the question is around gun violence and the results of that, please know that my heart bleeds and is broken for those families that have lost any individual due to gun violence. MURPHY: I look forward to working with you, but I also look forward to you coming to Connecticut and talking about the role of guns in schools. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Senator Murphy. Senator Scott. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you Mrs. DeVos for taking the time to be here and your willingness to serve. A couple questions I have as it relates to kids who are consistently attending schools that are underperforming. If you look at the outcomes of their lives of the children, which I think is a very important and should be a central part of this conversation that we are having, how is the education system that our kids are involved in preparing them for the future that we hope we all get to live? A future that includes achieving the American dream. But when we look at the underperforming schools, rural areas as well as in the inner cities, many schools are still underperforming, kids that come from those underperforming schools consistently have significantly higher rates of incarceration. they have significantly higher rates of unemployment. The importance of education can't be emphasized enough for the quality of life the child will experience, responsibility the government will bear because of that poor education system. So what we can make sure that there is access to quality education in every zip code should be of paramount importance to this nation, for this committee, as well as the entire senate. I would love to hear your thoughts into the Perkins CTE programs. DEVOS: Senator, I thank you for the question and for the thought and your observations and experience behind it. I couldn't agree more that we have continued to do a disservice to so many young people in our country by continuing to force them to attend schools that are simply not working for them or for many. And the fact that 1.4 million students drop out every year, one every 42 seconds, that is a human tragedy. When you think about the lost human potential, and as you mentioned, essentially a pipeline to prison for so many of those students, that is why I continue to be an advocate for allowing parents and empowering parents with the opportunity to make the right choices for their children. And I understand that there is a whole range of those choices based on the realities of a state. That is why states need to grapple with this issue in a meaningful way. And if confirmed, I hope to be able to talk with governors and legislators about opportunities and options they have to address the needs of the students who you have referred. SCOTT: Thank you very much. I think there is another part of the education apparatus that does not get enough good attention. So often we think of technical schools as a subpar choice. As the place to go if you can't get into a four year school. It is as if we have this bachelors addiction that may not be the best interest of the student. I hope that you are committed to taking a serious look at encouraging and providing great support for high-quality technical schools. I know in South Carolina, the importance of technical schools cannot be over emphasized. When we think of high-tech manufacturing, it is really for us in South Carolina, it creates a hub in all honesty. the sectors we benefit from, the transportation sector, the Boeing 9,000 jobs in Little Charleston, South Carolina to the BMWs, the Mercedes, the Michelins, the Bridgestone. our technical schools are the reason why we are succeeding on the high-tech manufacturing jobs. One of the things I have noted is that we probably need to have a robust conversation about making sure there is flexibility in the coursework at some of the technical schools, because there is almost 6 million openings in this country. 75% do not require a college degree. Which means that if we can align what is available in the marketplace with the training and the technical schools, we might solve a major part of our unemployment. DEVOS: absolutely, senator. students, as they anticipate higher education, really need to have a full menu of options shared with them. they need to know and understand where the opportunities are, what the costs are for the various avenues that might take, and certainly technical schools, community colleges, apprenticeships, there is really a wide variety of alternative pathways to a really great future if students are really made aware of them. SCOTT: And I'm about out of time, Mr. Chairman but just to finish there, you may be familiar with the 529 plans that provide, that you can put $50,000 into an account for college education. I think the 529 plans to be a wonderful apparatus to be able to pay for or subsidize some of the cost even K-12. I would love for us to have a longer conversation on that. DEVOS: I would look forward to that senator, thank you. SCOTT: Thank you, ma'am. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Senator Scott. Senator Warren. WARREN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, as the only other party to the so called precedent of we don't have a second round. I asked my staff to pull the records from the hearing we had with King. And you said when you called on me, I think we have time for a second round. Senator warren, you can be the first in the second round. I heard that, I was the only one who stayed and had questions. ALEXANDER: That is why we had time. WARREN: I understood that the precedent -- but if you had questions for a second round, could stay and ask them. well we are doing precedents, I also understand that the precedent was that President Obama's nominees came before committee, had all filled out their ethics forms. And that those were available before we had a hearing so that we would have a chance to ask questions about them in public. So I'm a little confused about what precedent means here. Mrs. DeVos, many of my democratic colleagues have pointed out your lack of experience in K-12 public schools, but I would like to ask about your qualifications for leading the nation on higher education. The department of education is in charge of making sure that the $150 billion that we invest in students each year gets into the right hands and that students have the support they need to be able to pay back their student loans. The secretary of education is essentially responsible for managing $1 trillion student loan bank. And distributing $30 billion in Peel Grants o students each year. The financial figure of an entire generation of young people depend on your department getting that right. Now, Mrs. DeVos, do you have any direct experience in running a bank? DEVOS: Senator, I do not. WARREN: Have you ever managed or overseen a $1-trillion loan program? DEVOS: I have not. WARREN: How about a billion dollar loan program? DEVOS: I have not. WARREN: Okay, so no experience in managing a program like this. How about participating in one? I think it's important for the person who is in charge of our financial aid programs to understand what it is like for students and families who are struggling to pay for college -- Mrs. DeVos, have you ever taken out a student loan from the federal government to help pay for college? DEVOS: I have not. WARREN: Have any of your children had to borrow money in order to go to college? DEVOS: They have been fortunate not to. WARREN: Have you had any personal experience with the Pell grant? DEVOS: Not personal experience, but certainly friends and students with whom I have worked. WARREN: So you have no personal experience with college financial aid or management of higher education? Mrs. DeVos, then, let's start with the basics. Do you support protecting federal taxpayer dollars from waste, fraud and abuse? DEVOS: Absolutely. WARREN: Good, so do I. now we all know the President-Elect Trump's experience with higher education was to create a fake university which resulted in his paying $25 million to students that he cheated. So I am curious about how the trump administration would protect against waste fraud and abuse at similar for-profit colleges. So here is my question. How do you plan to protect taxpayer dollars from waste, fraud, and abuse from colleges that take in millions of dollars in federal student aid? DEVOS: Senator, if confirmed I will certainly be very vigilant. WARREN: How? How are you going to do that? You said you are committed. DEVOS: The individuals with whom I work in the department will ensure that federal moneys are used properly and appropriately. I will look forward -- WARREN: You are going to subcontract making sure that what happens with universities that cheat students doesn't happen anymore? DEVOS: No I didn't -- WARREN: You are going to give that to someone else to do? I just want to know what your ideas are for making sure we don't have problems with waste, fraud, and abuse. DEVOS: I want to make sure we don't have problems with that as well. If confirmed, I will work diligently to ensure that we are addressing any of those issues. WARREN: Well, let me make a suggestion on this. It actually turns out there are a whole group of rules that are already written and are there, and all you have to do is enforce them. what I want to know is, will you commit to enforcing these rules to ensure that no career college receives federal funds unless they can prove they are actually preparing students for gainful employment and not cheating them. DEVOS: Senator, I will commit to ensuring that institutions which receive federal funds are actually serving their students well. WARREN: So you will enforce the gainful employment rule to make sure that these career colleges are not cheating students? DEVOS: We will certainly review that rule. WARREN: You will review it? You will not commit to enforce it? DEVOS: And see that it is actually achieving what the intentions are. WARREN: I don't understand about reviewing it. We talked about this in my office. There are already rules in place to stop waste, fraud, and abuse, and I am not sure how you cannot be sure about enforcing them. You know, swindlers and crooks are out there doing back flips when they hear an answer like this. If confirmed, you will be the cop on the beat. And if you cannot commit to use the tools that are already available to you in the Department of Education, then I don't see how you could be the secretary of education. And I look forward to having a second round of questions. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Senator Warren. Senator Collins. COLLINS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I cannot help but think that if my friends on the other side of the aisle have used their time to ask questions rather than complaining about the lack of a second round, they each would have been able to get in a second question. And I now just used 15 seconds of my time to make that point. Mrs. DeVos, first of all, let me say I have no doubt that you care deeply about the education of all children. And I say that despite the fact that you and I do not agree on all the issues. Given your lifelong work and commitment to education, any suggestion such as was made earlier that your nomination is linked to your political contribution is really unfair and unwarranted. And I just want to say that for the record. I now would like to move on to some questions about how you view the federal role in education versus the state and local role. I want to put aside the D.C. opportunity scholarship program because Congress' relationship to the District of Columbia is unique. And I want to ask you, at what level of government do you believe that decisions about charter schools and vouchers should be made? Is that a federal role, or is that a state role? DEVOS: Well, thank you Senator for that question. And let me just say I really enjoyed the conversation we had in your office. And let me respond to your question about federal versus state and local role by saying, I absolutely support the fact that it is a state role and state decision what kind of offering there might be with regards to choices and education. And as we discussed in your office, Maine has a unique situation with students attending school on islands and in rural areas. And to suggest that the right answer for Maine is not the right answer for Indiana or any state is just not right and I would not support a federal mandate or federal role in dictating those. COLLINS: I am glad to hear that. I have heard repeatedly from school officials, whether it's superintendents, teachers or school board members that the single most important action that the federal government could take would be to fulfill the promise of the 1975 Individuals With Disabilities To Education Act, to fund 40% of the additional cost of educating special needs child. It has been many years since that law was passed. we have never come close to the 40%. Would you commit to taking a look at the funding of the department to see if we could do a better job of moving towards fulfillment of that promise? that is an action that would help every single school district in this country. DEVOS: Senator, absolutely I would commit to that if confirmed. I actually think this is an area that could be considered for an approach that would be somewhat different, and that maybe the money should follow individual students instead of going directly to the states. But again, I think that is something that we could discuss. And I would look forward to talking about that with the members of this committee. COLLINS: Another of my concerns, having worked at a college level for a. period of time is the low rate of college completion. there is nothing worse than a student being saddled with educational debt and not earning the credential or the degree that would enable the student to pay off that debt. I am a strong supporter of the federal TRiO Program which helps prepare students for higher education. It helps to raise aspirations, particularly of children who come from families without experience in the higher education. do you have any thoughts on how we can do a better job in supporting college success programs so that we can ensure students are able to complete their degrees or earn their credentials? DEVOS: Senator, thank you. I do think we can do a better job with preparing students, informing them before they enter college. I know the TRiO Program helps to mentor and prepare students that might not otherwise have an opportunity. And I think that is a very important and valid one to look at for perhaps, is there another and more effective way to advance that or to replicate that? Or use that in a new way to help increase the participation of students that may not otherwise pursue higher education and complete it? COLLINS: Thank you. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Senator Collins. Senator Hassan. HASSAN: Thank you, Mr. Chair and Ranking Member Murray. I certainly look forward to working on this committee with all of you and I appreciate the opportunity to participate. Mrs. DeVos, it is nice to see you again. Thank you for being here today, your family as well. And I think all of us here share a commitment to public education understand the essential nature of -- to our democracy. I would echo my colleagues' call for another round at least of questioning, because I think our job here is not to talk about ideas but actually to drill down to how things actually work in practice. And so, I want to talk about one of those situations you began to touch on in my office when we met. And it echoes a little bit of what Senator Collins was talking about an terms of full commitment to our students with disabilities and what Senator Cassidy was talking about in terms of access to quality education for children with dyslexia. My son, Ben, experiences very severe physical disabilities, he has cerebral palsy. he cannot speak, he can't use his fingers for a keyboard, he doesn't walk, but he is smart and the best kid on earth, if I could say so myself. He got a quality public education at our local school. he is a graduate of Exeter High School in Exeter, New Hampshire. And the reason he got there was because countless advocates and champions before the housing family, worked so hard to make sure he had the right to that education. And I am concerned that when students who experience disabilities receive a publicly funded voucher to attend a private school, they often don't receive adequate resources and in some cases have to sign over their legal rights under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act. So do you think family should have a recourse in the courts if their child's education does not adequately meet his or her needs, whether they get a voucher or in a more traditional public school? DEVOS: Thank you, senator, for that question. And again, I appreciated our meeting earlier last week. Let me begin by saying I appreciate and thankful that you had the opportunity with your son Ben, to find the right setting for him. And I would advocate for all parents should be able to have that opportunity to choose the right school -- HASSAN: I actually -- I had the opportunity to send him to the same public school that my daughter went to because law required that that school provide him resources that were never provided before that law was passed because they are hard. So the question is, will you enforce the law with regard to kids with disabilities if a voucher program did allow them to go someplace else? And the school said, no, it is just too expensive, we don't want to do it. DEVOS: I think that there are great examples of programs that are already underway in states Ohio has a great program and in fact, Sam and his mom are hear today, beneficiary of the John Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program. HASSAN: I understand that. And because my time is limited, excuse me for interrupting. But what I am asking you is, there is at least one voucher program in Florida, the McKay voucher program, which makes students sign away their rights before they can get that voucher. I think that is fundamentally wrong, and I think it will mean that students with disabilities cannot use the voucher system that a department under your leadership might start. So I want to know whether you will enforce and whether you will make sure that children with disabilities do not have to sign away their legal rights in order to get a voucher should a voucher program be developed. DEVOS: Well, I would love to comment to the McKay scholarship program in Florida where I believe today, 31,000 are taking advantage O.T. it, and 93% of the parents utilizing that voucher are very, very pleased with it. As opposed to 30% HASSAN: And I'm sorry, but hat is not the question I asked. So for right now, I am going to move on to one final question I really do wish we had a second round. there is a lot here that is critical to our children, especially with disabilities. with all due respect, Mrs. DeVos, has not answered my question, but the other question I had, again, because we don't have a second round, I'm trying to follow up on an answer you gave earlier to some of my colleagues. I understand that there is a foundation, the Edgar and Elsie Prince Foundation which I take it, is a foundation named for your parents? Is that correct? DEVOS: It's my mother's foundation. HASSAN: It's your mother's foundation. And you sit on the board? DEVOS: I do not. HASSAN: You do not? DEVOS: No. HASSAN: Okay, so when it made its over $5 million donation to focus on the family, you did not know anything about it? DEVOS: My mother makes the decisions for her foundation. HASSAN: Thank you. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Senator Hassan. Senator Burr? BURR: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mrs. DeVos, thank you for agreeing to serve. I think a lot of Americans watch what goes on here and say, never me. I will never go through it. I think most of us say that after an election cycle. And it is rare to find somebody who is the full monty. I mean, you don't have to do this. That is apparent. You did not have to choose education as your life's ambition, but you did. So, I thank you for the investment you have been made for all the kids who have been impacted. For the unbelievable statistics that you know about Florida, or about whatever. I'm sure you and the senator from Minnesota can come to agreement on what the numbers were that he was talking about. But I sat here and I remember, in my first election, I went in to get the support of educators. And I was 10 minutes into what looked to be a 30 to 45 minute question and answer. And after 10 minutes, I said, are there any questions that deal with kids or outcomes? And I said no. so I got up and left. You know, we can ask you all sorts of questions about you personally, and what you have done, but you came into my office. And before I ever asked a question, in several minutes, you convinced me that you are passionate about making sure that every child had the opportunity to have a successful education. And from that, every child that got that education would have an opportunity to reach for the American dream of a life that is unlimited, an opportunity that is unlimited. So you convinced me without me asking a question. I only have one question today. Why is it so difficult for us to figure out how to focus on outcome versus getting so hung up on process? DEVOS: Senator, I think that is a very good question. And I think we could have a very robust debate in this room about that. I think that human tendency is to protect and guard what is because change is difficult. And yet, we see the fact that there are millions of students who are simply not getting the opportunity for an equal opportunity for a quality education. and, we try to tinker around from the top, and we try to fix things, but it becomes more about the system, I'm afraid, then it does about what is right for each child. And so I thank you for your support, and your encouragement around the notion that every child should have the opportunity. Every parent should have the opportunity, on behalf of their child to choose the right educational environment for them. And I'm hopeful that, if we can continue having a robust conversation about this, that we will talk about the great schools that our children have the opportunity to go to 10 years from now, many of which may not exist today, or look very different from what it exists today. I think the opportunity to innovate and education is virtually unlimited, and has been really untested to a large extent. So I am very hopeful that we will have that opportunity and that opportunity for that kind of conversation. BURR: I think we will, and I hope the committees sees it in their actions to make sure that you are at he helm of the Department of Education. As I look across America, and across the world, I see an age where technology is going to impact things that we did not even dream about five years ago. What we have seen happen to our PDAs is not going into healthcare, it's going to drive manufacturing, I still remember my father at 90 years old looking at me -- just about five years ago -- six years ago and saying, I do not understand how a fax machine works. Well you know what? I never was able to explain to him. But that didn't limit my use of it and my belief that it served an important purpose. So education is going to change drastically, but what is most important is to have somebody passionate at top. Concerned about every child and every child's opportunity. For that, I'm grateful you are here. I yield. DEVOS: Thank you, Senator. ALEXANDER: Thank you Senator Burr, Senator Kaine. KAINE: Thank you, our committee leadership and thank you, Mrs. DeVos How much information do you have about the finances of the president-elect, his family or Trump related organizations? DEVOS: I do not have any of that information, senator. KAINE: So I take that you won't have any way of knowing when asked by the president to take official action in your capacity as secretary how those actions might affect his personal finance situation. DEVOS: I'm not sure I could comment on that. KAINE: And this isn't theoretical, he owns a university. I think it's relevant to assessing the wisdom of an education policy proposal to know how that proposal might affect the president's personal finances. Do you disagree with me? DEVOS: Well, I think the president-elect has taken steps to ensure. KAINE: I ask, do you disagree with me? DEVOS: Can you state your question again? KAINE: I think it's relevant to assessing the wisdom of an education policy proposal to know how the proposal might affect the president's personal finances. Do you disagree with me? DEVOS: I do not disagree with you. KAINE: Thank you. The nation deserves a secretary who is a champion of kids, parents, state and local control and outcomes. I also think the nation deserves a secretary who is a champion of public education. In a 2015 speech on education, you were pretty blunt, "Government really sucks." you called the public school system a "dead end" in order to clarify, you never attended a public school? A K-12 school, did you? DEVOS: Correct. KAINE: And your children did not either? Correct? DEVOS: That is correct. KAINE: And you have never taught in a K-12 public school, correct? DEVOS: Not, but I have mentored in one. KAINE: Okay, I worry about the fact that a leader who believes government sucks on the morale of the workforce, teachers and others do better when their morale is high. would you agree with me? DEVOS: Absolutely, and I support great teachers. KAINE: And the attitude of a leader of an organization matters a lot to the morale of the workforce, would you agree with me on that? DEVOS: Absolutely. And just with reference to the quote that you... KAINE: I would like to introduce that for the record, I don't have other questions about it and I have a very limited amount of time. I want to move on to another quote. You and your husband spoke at a conference a number of years ago. your husband said this was not attributed to you, but you were together at the conference if what I read is correct. "The church has been displaced as the public school as the center for activity, the center of what goes on in the community." Thomas Jefferson did not view public education as contrary to or competitive with church or religion, do you? DEVOS: I do not. KAINE: Do you think that schools that receive K-12 schools that receive government funding should meet the same accountability standards, outcome standards? DEVOS: All schools that receive public funding should be accountable. Yes. KAINE: Should meet the same accountability standards? DEVOS: Yes. Although you have different accountability standards between traditional public schools and charter schools. KAINE: I'm very interested in this. Should everybody be in a level playing field. So public charter or private k-12 schools, it they receive taxpayer funding, they should meet the same accountability standards. DEVOS: Yes. They should be very transparent with the information, and parents should have that information first and foremost. KAINE: And if confirmed,. would you insist upon that equal accountability in any K-12 school or educational program that receives federal funding whether public, public charter or private. DEVOS: I support accountability. KAINE: Equal opportunity for all schools that receive federal funding? DEVOS: I support accountability. KAINE: Is that a yes or a no? DEVOS: That is a "I support accountability." KAINE: Do you not want to answer my question? DEVOS: I support accountability. KAINE: Okay, let me ask you this, I think all schools that receive taxpayer funding should be equally accountable, do you agree with me or not? DEVOS: Well, they don't, they are not. KAINE: But I think they should. Do you agree with me or not? DEVOS: Well, no, because. KAINE: You don't agree with me. Let me move to my next question. Should all K-12 schools receiving governmental funding be required to meet the requirements of the Individual with Disabilities Education Act? DEVOS: I think they already are. KAINE: Okay, so but I'm asking you a should question. Whether they all right or not, we will get into that later. Should all schools that receive taxpayer funding be required to meet the requirements of the individuals with disabilities and education DEVOS: I think that is a matter that is best left to the states. KAINE: So some states might be good to kids with disabilities, and other states might not be so good, and then people can move around the country if they don't like how their kids are being treated? DEVOS: I think that is an issue best left to the states. KAINE: What about the federal requirement? It's a federal law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, let's limit it to federal funding. If schools receive federal funding, should they be required to follow federal law whether they are public, public charter, or private? DEVOS: As the senator referred to... KAINE: Just yes or no. I only got one more question. DEVOS: Florida's program, there are many parents that are very happy with the program there. KAINE: Let me say this, I think all schools that receive federal funding, public charter, or public, should be required to meet the conditions of the individuals with disabilities and education act. Do you agree with me or not? DEVOS: I think that is certainly worth the discussion and I would look forward... DEVOS: So you can not yet agree with me. And finally should all K-12 schools receiving governmental funding be required to report the same information regarding instances of harassment, discipline or bullying if they receive federal funding? DEVOS: I think that federal funding certainly comes with strings attached. KAINE: I think all schools should be required to report equally information about discipline, harassment and bullying, do you agree with me or not? DEVOS: I would look forward to reviewing that provision. KAINE: If it was a court, I would say to the court, let the judge instruct the witness to answer the question, it's not a court and you're not under oath, not under subpoena, but you are trying to win my vote. Thanks, Mr. Chairman. ALEXANDER: Thanks, Senator Kaine. Senator Murkowski? MURKOWSKI: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mrs. DeVos, thank you for coming to my office. I had an opportunity to walk you through the map of Alaska. Hopefully, educate you at some -- to some of the challenges that we face as a state in delivering education in what is not a rural state but what has been described as a frontier state in many, many ways. 82% of the communities in the state of Alaska are not attached by road. They are islanded in every sense of the word. I had an opportunity, on Saturday, to meet with about 400 teachers from around the state. I will tell, they are concerned about your nomination. they are concerned because they would love to have the choice that we are talking about, but when you are a small school in Buckland, when you are a small school in King Cove, when here is no way to get to an alternative option for your child, the best parent is left relying on a public school system that they demand be there for their kids. So I want to be sure, and I think every one of those teachers that I met with on Saturday wants to make sure that your commitment to public education, particularly for rural students, who have no choices is as strong and robust as the passion you have dedicated to advancing charter schools. I appreciated your responses to Senator Cassidy because he was very direct and you gave very reassuring answers there that you are not seeking to undermine or to erode public schools. I appreciated what you said in response to Senator Alexander's the chair's questions about whether you would work move toward a voucher type of system, if in fact, we in the congress said that is not the direction. I tried to assure the teachers I was talking to that they are not sufficient votes to voucherize the system. I appreciate the inquiry that Senator King has been making though about the level of accountability. And this was something that was brought up in the Q&A session in Anchorage was that a concern that there would not be an effort to match that accountability to those schools that receive federal funding, either through a voucher f program, a federal match through education and saving account dollars, but that, in addition to performance standards, that there would be true accountability with adhering to federal laws for civil rights as well as students with disabilities. So I will ask for a continuation of the discussion. you have I think, provided some very responsive comments, that I think will help our teachers in Alaska, where again, their options and their choices are very limited. But how can you provide assurance to these teachers, these families, and these students, for whom alternatives and options are severely limited. Not because we don't want them, but because our geography really isolates us. DEVOS: Well, thank you, senator, for that question. I really appreciated our conversation and a review of the map because it does remind us of the unique challenges that Alaska has. I would say that I can assure you that, if confirmed, I will support Alaska and its approach to educating its youngsters. I have to say, I think that the creativity and innovation that Alaska has employed through the traditional public system is one that other states can probably take note of and learn some lessons from. we hope that they continue to feel the freedom and that drive to continue to educate and innovate. MURKOWSKI: We are quite proud of some of the innovation we have made. We have a great deal of choice within our urban centers from my colleagues education, and edification, Anchorage hosts six of the most ethnically diverse schools in the United States of America, and we are sitting in Anchorage, Alaska. So I have that level of diversity but then I have rural villages where I may have no more than 60 kids in a school. And in order for them to have the same benefits and opportunities, the dollars that flow, and the commitment that flows to those families, that there is a level of accountability throughout remains a very significant challenge. So I need to have a very clear and a very firm commitment that the focus you will give to not only Alaska, but states that have significant rural populations, that these students who will not have alternatives, that that public school system is not undermined, eroded, or ignored. DEVOS: Absolutely, Senator, you have my commitment. And in fact, as I said, I think there is so much that Alaska can share with others in terms of how to address challenges of very widespread student populations. MURKOWSKI: Thank you, Mr. Chair. ALEXANDER: I will now turn to Senator Murray. MURRAY: Mr. Chairman, I just have to start by saying, and I hope this does not count against my time on questions but it's not a question, for question, I have questions that I know all of our committees want to follow up including on the response I just heard on IDA, sexual assault and Pell grants and a number of other questions. Let me just say, I am really disappointed that you have preemptively cut off our members from asking questions. It really is unprecedented. you and I have worked together, and I appreciate that, but I hope you change your mind. I don't know what you are protect Mrs. DeVos from. She should get robust scrutiny, she is the overseeing the education of all of our kids. And what is happening in higher education and much more. And to be very clear, this is not what we have done in this committee. From Michael Levitt, President Bush's second secretary of health and human services, five members participated in the second round, from Andrew Von Eschenbach, President Bush's third FDA commissioner, three member participated, in the second round, Hilda Solis, President Obama's first secretary of labor, three members participated in the second round, the hearing was actually over four hours. Tom Daschle, President Obama's nominee to be secretary of health and human services, four members participated in the second round. Alexis Herman, President Clinton's second secretary of labor, three and a half hour hearing 10 minutes of questioning Rod Paige, I mentioned, Secretary of education, President Bush's nominee, ten questions. So I hope we are not just cherry picking Senator Duncan and king, who had a broad history behind them when they came to this. And I really would like to enter into transcripts scripts that I have showing the actual precedent of this committee into the record. I think it's important for all of us to remember that. And given the lack of paperwork from the OGE and the numerous outstanding questions that I know my members have, that are still sitting here, it's 8:15 at night, they wouldn't be sitting here if they didn't have additional questions. I would like to call at least for a second hearing for this nominee. ALEXANDER: Do you want me e to respond to that now? do you have additional questions yourself? MURRAY: I do have additional question, yes. ALEXANDER: Well let me respond in this way. You know the respect I have for you and for each member of this committee and for how we worked together but what you are asking me to do is to treat Mrs. DeVos differently than we treated President Obama's two education secretaries, and I am not going to do that. We are already at - this hearing started at 5:15, it's 8:15. That is three hours and five minutes of of questions. Secretary Duncan, President Obama's first secretary, the hearing was two hours and two minutes. John King, President Obama's current secretary was two hours and 16 minutes. This is already three hours, and we are not finished yet. And as far as questions go, each member of this committee has had an opportunity to visit with Mrs. DeVos in their office, and I believe she has done that. Several members of this committee have already sent her written questions, which she will answer before we vote on her nomination. She has complied with all of the rules of the committee. The committee rules do not require that the Office of Government Ethics report be in by the time we actually have the hearing. She submitted her information there on the 12th -- I believe the 12th -- on the fourth of January. And Mrs. DeVos, I understand you are working and will continue to work with the office of government ethics and sign an ethics agreement. Is that correct? DEVOS: That is correct, Mr. Chairman. ALEXANDER: And the purpose of that, for those watching, there is a designated government office that works with the nominees, and comes to an agreement with them if there is any conflict of interest. And if she, for example, needs to divest herself of something, that will be part of the agreement. That she has said that she will do whatever she needs to do to gain an agreement with the go Office of Government Ethics so that the letter of agreement will say she has no conflicts of interest. I have said that that letter will be public, at least by Friday, before we vote on her nomination by next Tuesday. so, you will have the opportunity to question her in your office, to question her today, either as extensively as you did either of President Obama's nominees. You have the opportunity to submit additional written questions after this hearing for up to two days when we had Secretary Perez before the committee, Senator Harkin only gave us one day. I would say two days, by the close of Thursday. then, you will have three or four days after the Office of Government Ethics letter of agreement says that she has no conflicts of interest is public to decide how to vote. That seems to me to be entirely reasonable. I have already agreed to move the hearing one week, at the request of the Democratic and Republican leadership, so they could consider other nominations. And finally on the tax return issue, it is not a requirement of this committee that nominees provide us with their tax return. they provide us with it their financial information just as senators do provide publicly their financial information. It is not a lot to provide their tax return. So she is doing everything that the rules of the committee say she should do and I'm treating her in terms of questions the same way that we treated President Obama's two education secretaries. So I'm not going to have a second round. I would be happy to extend to you, if you would like, the chance to ask questions. And then, I will do the same, which is consistent with what we did for the two previous Obama secretaries. MURRAY: Mr. Chairman, with all due respect, this nominee is the only one to not submit an LGE paperwork before our hearing. So our members have not had the opportunity to review it or ask questions about it. And I appreciate private meetings, I'm sure all of us do, but our constituents want to hear what this nominee has to say to because of a vast history on the issue of education that concerns a lot of people. ALEXANDER: Well if I may. MURRAY: And let me just say, that Tillerson had three rounds of hearing, Sessions, had two rounds, Carson, had two rounds. Zenke had three rounds. So I am unclear why education is not just as important as these others. ALEXANDER: If it is important under trump, it is important under Obama. I do not know why suddenly we have this sudden interest. And as far as several people have mentioned Secretary Paige here tonight. He did not have his Office of Government Ethics letter in before his hearing. It came in after his hearing. The same was true with Elaine Chao when she became a cabinet member. So that has not been a consistent pattern either. I have tried to be as fair as I can, and following what I believe to be the golden rule. And we have gone for more than three hours in an extensive hearing, which is just part of a discussion as you evaluate how you are going to vote when it comes up before the committee... CASEY: Mr. Chairman? ALEXANDER: Yes? CASEY: If the request is reasonable, we are only asking for five minutes per member on a set of issues that are just as important at the beginning of a new administration which is a change in parties. It's a new - a lot of new policies coming forward and as Senator Murray said, we did have time in our office, I think most of us probably had half an hour, but our constituents were not there for half an hour for asking for another five minutes, I don't think is in anyway reasonable. ALEXANDER: Well, Senator Casey, I have enormous respect for you, but the Obama administration was also a change in administration, and I did not hear any great cry for a second round questions. This is a three-hour hearing, three hours and 10 minutes now, in addition to all the information that is there. I do not think it is fair to expect that we will treat a Republican president's education nominee differently than we treated a Democratic presidents education nominee. Senator Bennet? BENNET: Mr. Chairman, I think you are one of the fairest people in town. And you didn't know, you have earned that. You really are. But to me, the fact that Republican members of the senate did not want to ask a second round of questions for the Obama nominee to the senate, the idea that that should be a precedent for the Democrats, eight of whom are here tonight -- to ask questions, even follow-up to questions that we have heard tonight, I think is really unfair and uncharacteristic. And I hope that if we can't have the questions here, that we will have another hearing -- if we can't have another hearing, that we have an assurance that every single question asked by every single member of this panel and submitted in writing is the answered before this vote can go forward on the floor. The paperwork is submitted before we can go forward on the floor. I do not think that is a satisfactory result. But if we cannot ask the questions today, I hope you and the majority leader will consider that. ALEXANDER: I have already said that members will have an opportunity to ask questions in writing, which they already have. Many of you have already done that. You can ask additional questions in writing. you can have that in by 5:00 on Thursday, and I also said that is one more day that Senator Harkin gave us when Perez was our labor secretary, I said that is air, I said second that we will schedule an executive session on next Tuesday, where will we will be glad to discuss the tax return issue whether we want to apply tax returns of future nominees who come before this committee. And we will vote on Mrs. DeVos, but only if the letter agreement from the Office of Government Ethics is complete by this Friday, and made available to all members of the committee so you have three or four days to see how that will affect your vote. FRANKEN: Mr. Chairman, very short questions. ALEXANDER: Senator Franken? FRANKEN: Are we assured that before this vote on Tuesday that we will have the answers to these questions? Because what I heard is we can submit a question, but here, at least the nominee has to answer them. Are you assuring us that before the vote on Tuesday, our questions will have been answered? ALEXANDER: Well, the number of questions needs to be reasonable and the answers need to be reasonable, and that is in the eye of the beholder , sometime. the most number of questions that was ever asked a nominee before this committee, I'm told was 191 to Secretary Perez. I will not say there is a certain number that is reasonable. I'm confident that Mrs. DeVos will make an effort to give a reasonable as complete an answer to the question as she can. FRANKEN: So the answer we won't be assured of that? ALEXANDER: Well, yes, you will be assured that Mrs. DeVos, what would your answer be? Will you do your best to answer the questions you will receive after 5:00 on Thursday before the possibility of a vote next Tuesday. DEVOS: I would certainly endeavor to have all of the questions responded to. ALEXANDER: Senator Baldwin. BALDWIN: Mr. Chairman, did you make any announcements about whether there will be more than one rounds of questions tomorrow when we convene to hear Mr. Price's representative Price's? ALEXANDER: I was not planning on more than one. BALDWIN: Because I have heard various members who have done the research during the course of this proceeding indicate that there have been additional rounds for witnesses, or nominees, that have come before this committee in other departments than education. I can tell you, that perhaps half -- I perhaps got to propound half of my questions today. Tomorrow, given the breadth of that department, I have many, many more. ALEXANDER: Well since I'm talking a lot about precedent tonight, let me look at the precedent and see what that say s. I told Dr. Price that, in my experience, one round of questions would pretty well do it. Except, usually we have, Senator Murray and I followed up. let in case, Senator Warren a diligent member of the committee and is often here, I congratulate her for that. But let's say, me think about that. Senator Warren? WARREN: Mr. Chairman, can I ask about the precedent? Just because I want to make sure I understand it. When we go back and examine the record, will we find instances where people asked for a second round of questions and were refused? ALEXANDER: Will you find instances where they were asked and refused, I do not know the answer to that. But if you go back to President Obama's two education secretaries, there was one round of five-minute questions. Then the chairman asked a question and one other senator asked a question and that is what we are doing tonight. WARREN: As you said in the hearing, I think we have time for a second round. those were your words. you said, "Senator warren, you can be the first in the second round." Which I believe to mean had there been anyone else who wanted to ask a question, they could have. But no one was refused the opportunity to as, it's just that people were satisfied with the nominee and had no further questions. ALEXANDER: Well I can guarantee you that many of us were not satisfied with the last nominee but out of difference to the president, and the institution, thought that it would be appropriate for us to defer to the precedent and that it was important to have a secretary in place. You are a very exceptional law professor and I don't want to get into a -- that kind of discussion with you. My guess is that I looked over there and saw you and you asked if there can be a second round and I said, yes. So I think we are the only still in the room. You know, we have to bring this to a conclusion. I think Mrs. DeVos, we are not going to have a second round of questions tonight. WARREN: Mr. Chairman, I just want to be clear, this is the first time ever that someone has asked for a second round of questions and then refused? ALEXANDER: No, no one said that, except you. WARREN: Well, you haven't said otherwise. ALEXANDER: No, that is and what I mean -- Lewis Carroll would be proud of that. That is a little. WARREN: I'm sorry, did you say that you have refused anyone a second round? ALEXANDER: No, I said that Lewis Carroll would be proud of that kind of reasoning. What I'm saying is I look straightforwardly at the process that we had with President Obama's education secretary, and determined we would do the same thing for President-Elect Trump's nominee. If I were to be even more careful, I would point out that she now spent 50% more time here in this hearing than either Secretary Duncan or Secretary King did for President Obama. She has visited every one of your offices. She asked to go in December, nobody made time to see here in December so so she came in January , I believe that is correct. And then she has received questions from you which she is going to answer. We have said that she has completed the FBI background. She has followed every rule the committee has and I said we will consider the tax return question at an executive session next week, but whether we change the rules and require that for future nominees, you can decide to do that if you wish to do that. We senators do not do it for ourselves and we don't do it for our nominees so we can talk about that, and that you have two days to ask additional written questions. She will do a reasonable number of them, she will do her best to give you reasonable answers to them and that we will not go forward with a vote next Tuesday, unless her letter agreement is public by Friday, and available for you to review it. So that is my decision. And I think that is what we will do tonight. Now we will conclude the hearing by inviting Senator Murray, if she has any additional questions to ask, to do that, and then I will ask some and then we will be finished. MURRAY: So Mr. Chairman, I take those as a definitive answer. ALEXANDER: As definitive as I can be. MURRAY: Well since I only have one question, I will ask one you probably won't like. Mrs. DeVos, President-Elect Trump was recorded bragging about kissing and groping and trying to have sex with women without their consent. He said on tape that when you are a star, they let you do it, you can do anything. I was and I remain very outraged by those comments. And that outrage grew following the release of that recording to series women came forward to publicly accuse President-Elect Trump of exactly the type of behavior that he bragged about on tape. I take accusations of this type of behavior very seriously. If this behavior, kissing and touching women and girls without their consent happened in the school, would you consider it asexual assault? DEVOS: Yes. MURRAY: One in five young women will experience sexual assault while in college. we are joined tonight by several sexual assault survivors, who are brave enough to come here tonight, because this issue is so important to them. Can you promise them and me that you will not as has been in the press, consider "reigning in"" the office for civil rights and the departments work to protect students from campus sexual assault? DEVOS: Senator, if confirmed, I commit that I will be looking very closely at how this has been regulated and handled, and with great sensitivity to those who are victims, and also considering perpetrators as well. Please know, that I am very sensitive. MURRAY: I heard you say that but you will not take back the words that you will "reign in" the Office For Civil Rights. DEVOS: I do not think those were the words that I used. MURRAY: Well that is a quote that has been attributed to you. We spent, I thank Senator Casey on this as well, this is extremely important to women and men across the country and I hope that you will take back the words of "reigning in the office of civil rights and the department's work on sexual assault. Mr. Chairman, I'm going to turn to Senator Hassan for the last part of my questions. HASSAN: Thank you, Senator Murray. Just two quick things, Mrs. DeVos, I just wanted to clarify the issue on whether or not you are on the board of your mother's foundation. I have 990s up through 2013 where you are listed as vice president and a board member. So was that just a mistake on your part? DEVOS: That was a clerical error. I can assure you I have never made decisions on my mother's behalf on her foundation board. HASSAN: So the listing that you were the vice president of the board was incorrect? DEVOS: That is incorrect. HASSAN: Okay, thank you. The other thing I just wanted to circle back to. I want to go back to the individuals with disabilities and education act. That is a federal civil rights law so if you stand by your statement a few minutes ago that it should be up to the states whether to follow it? DEVOS: Federal law must be followed where federal dollars are in play. HASSAN: So were you unaware when I just asked you about the IDA that it is a federal law? DEVOS: I may have confused it. HASSAN: Guarantees absolutely basic protection to students with disabilities to ensure that they are afforded a high-quality education with their peers -- one of the reasons that it is difficult to have this hearing and fully understand your perspective is because we do know that children with disabilities in at least some of the voucher programs that you have supported, have gone with a voucher to their school because of their disability, they have to leave the school, the school keeps the money, and they go back to public schools, that now have even less resources to deal with them. And many of us see this as a potential for turning our public schools into warehouses, for the most challenging kids with disabilities or other kinds of particular issues or the kids who parents cannot afford to make up the difference between the voucher and the cost of private school tuition. So I just would urge you to become familiar should you be nominated with the Individual Disabilities and Education Act. And I do have to say I'm concerned that you seem so unfamiliar with it, and that you seem to support voucher schools that have not honored, that have made students sign away their rights to make sure that the law is enforced. that is very troubling to me. DEVOS: Senator, I assure you that if confirmed, I will be very sensitive to the needs of the special needs students and the policies surrounding that. HASSAN: And with all due respect, it is not about sensitivity. Although that helps, it is about being willing to enforce the law to make sure that my child and every child has the same access to public education, high-quality public education. And the reality is the way the voucher systems that you have supported work don't always come out that way. That is why it is something we need to continue to explore. Thank you. ALEXANDER: Thank you Senator Hassan and Senator Murray. Thank you to Mrs. DeVos for being here. I appreciate your being here for three hours and 15 minutes and giving us a chance to ask you questions you have set a record in terms of the last three education secretaries in any event. I am going to put in the record, with consent, a letter from the log cabin Republicans, who wrote to me as chairman of the committee, about a suggestion that you might be anti-gay. According to Gregory T Angelo, president, he said, far from being an anti-gay fire breather, Mrs. DeVos actually has a history of working with and supporting gay individuals. when her senior adviser, Greg McNeilly was accosted by Michigan state senator who threatened to make his sexual orientation a matter of public record because of his opposition to a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality, Mrs. DeVos put an end to the bullying and harassment. Furthermore in 2013, Mrs. DeVos called for the resignation of then Republican National Committee Man, Dave Agema, for posting erroneous and vitriolic antigay statements on line. Mrs. DeVos should be commended for proving that differences of opinion relating to marriage equality do not equate to anti-gay and as most log cabin republican stand in support of her nomination for secretary of education and encourages for a swift confirmation. Senators who wish to ask additional questions to our nominee. Those are due by the close of business on Thursday, Jan 19. For all other matters, the hearing record will remain open for 10 days. Members may submit additional information for the record within that time. The next hearing of our committee will be tomorrow morning at 10:00 for the nomination of Tom Price for United States Secretary of Health and Human Services. Thank you for being here. WARREN: Mr. Chairman, I also have a letter I just like to add for the record as well from the Massachusetts Charter Public Schools Association, raising questions about accountability. they are strong supporters of charter schools, but very concerned with Mrs. DeVos' record with accountability for charter schools in Michigan. ALEXANDER: Thank you Senator Warren, it will be included in the record. The committee will stand adjourned (UNKNOWN) Let me on unadjourn the committee for a moment out of -- I would have a suggestion that I hope might resolve a problem earlier which is my understanding is that under rule 26, that the standing rules of the senate, three of us have the right to ask you to call minority witnesses before the committee to whom we could address questions. And that may be a way through this so I would make that request assuming that... ALEXANDER: Well that request has been made earlier, and I denied that. we have not done that in my experience. That would -- our tradition is to invite the nominee, ask the nominee questions, which we have done. They go through the process, which I have described at length. I appreciate your request, but I'm not going to agree to it. The committee is adjourned.
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SENATE HELP COMMITTEE HEARING BETSY DEVOS CONFIRMATION HEARING 1900 COMMITTEE ISO
Senate HELP with Betsy DeVos, nominee for Education FS40X87 SENATE HEALTH EDUCATION LABOR AND PENSIONS COMMITTEE FULL COMMITTEE HEARING Nomination of Betsy DeVos to serve as Secretary of Education Witnesses Betsy DeVos Grand Rapids , MI 19:00:00 DEVOS: Actually, I believe there is a lot that has gone right in Detroit and in Michigan with regard to charter schools. And the notion that there haven't been accountability is just wrong. It is false news. If it is false news. It is not correct at all. The reality is that charter schools in Michigan have been accountable, fully accountable, to their overseeing bodies and to the state since their history, 122 -- BENNETT: Why are there so many failing charter schools in Michigan? DEVOS: 122 charter schools have been closed since charter schools came into existence in Michigan. the reality today is that students attending charter schools in the City of Detroit are getting three months on average more learning than their counterparts in the traditional public schools. The recent legislation that was passed now actually brings all schools in Detroit under accountability, including the traditional schools. here before there has never been a traditional public school that has been closed due to poor performance. And so finally, there -- for the people of Detroit, there is accountability across the board and I'm pleased and thankful that.. BENNETT: I'm out of time, and I apologize. I would like to say this, Mrs. DeVos. Thank you for your willingness to do this. And I would like to invite you to Denver to the Denver public schools, if you are willing to come, to see what we are working on there. DEVOS: I would love to do that. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Senator Bennett. Senator Young YOUNG: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And Mrs. DeVos, thank you so much for putting yourself forward for this position. I think you will make a fine secretary of education. I would like to bring up to your attention something we discussed in our office. And we spent quite a bit of time talking about teachers. I think you actually started talking about teachers. it was encouraging here today in your prepared remarks, you said we are blessed beyond measure by educators who pour themselves into their students. I share with you -- I am a father of four young children, age 10 and under and I have really come to appreciate how essential it is to have prepared teachers who are empowered to do their very best work and immersed in an atmosphere that is supportive. That is my objective in part in sitting on this committee is to try and play a constructive role in that process, hopefully working with you. My wife, her family is full of teachers and in fact, a number of them are still teaching today in a low income town in Indiana. Paoli, Indiana. I would like to look to the evidence. And I am always open to the evidence from all comers. But there is a 2007 study, all that data by McKenzie and company, they examine education systems all around the world to try to figure out what works. What makes for an effective education environment. And it wasn't the amount of money spent for students. In fact, we tried that in this country. in 1970, the cost to educate a student was roughly $57,000 adjusting for inflation 40 years later, it is $165,000 per student. We know right there, it is not money. what McKenzie found that one of the most important factor is the quality of our teachers. I feel very strongly that we need to remove barriers to quality teaching and enable and equip these teachers to do their very best work. And as someone who studied this issue extensively, I would like to get your thoughts on how we might do that. DEVOS: Well, thank you, senator. I did enjoy our meeting in your office as well, talking about these issues. I believe, first, let me restate again that a quality teacher cannot be -- the importance of a quality teacher cannot be overstated. I think that the opportunities abound for empowering and re-empowering teachers in a new way, unleashing and unencumbering them with a lot of rules and regulations today that really prohibit and inhibit creativity and innovation with their students. You know, when you take a step back and look at how we deliver education today, for the most part, it has not changed significantly in a century and a half. and yet, the world has changed significantly. And so I think that ere is a great opportunity. And this goes for teachers of all kinds of schools and all varieties, and that is to really empower them in a new way to do what they do best. And I know that in a couple of the states, when charter schools were actually introduced, the teacher, those that founded the charter schools were actually teachers who were wanting to express themselves in a different way and found a new opportunity to unleash from their previous circumstances. YOUNG: Thanks. And my remaining 90 seconds here, I will just emphasize that I spent the last four years in the house of representatives focused in the main on trying to ascertain whether or not our social support programs, those programs that are targeted towards helping the poor, the needy, the vulnerable, those who need a hand up in society, whether or not those programs are working. And what I discovered is there are roughly 80 of these programs, depending upon how you count them, of these 80, only 12 have ever been rigorously evaluated using the gold standard of evaluation, randomized controlled trial, and of those 12, only 1 has been found to meaningfully work and even that one was a bit complicated. So we need to apply evidence-based approaches to the education system in the same sort of way and just stare at the evidence and let it guide us accordingly, hopefully in a bipartisan way. And do I have your assurance that you will operate in this fashion? It's a threshold issue for me. DEVOS: Absolutely, Senator. I think it's a great opportunity. And if confirmed, I would look forward to working with you on that. YOUNG: All right. Thank you. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Senator Young. Senator Whitehouse. WHITEHOUSE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Good evening, Mrs. DeVos. Welcome to the committee. It is reputed at least that Sigmund Freud said there are times when a cigar is just a cigar. And there are times when charter schools are just charter schools. And I think when that is the case, everybody in this room supports them. Certainly we have a very strong charter school community in Rhode Island. But there are times when it appears that charter schools are used as a wedge to attack public education, and the signals of that tend to be that failing charter schools are protected compared to failing public schools. the standards really aren't there. as I say in Rhode Island, we demand a lot from our charter schools. they succeed, very well, we are proud of them. But I have read that 80% of charter schools in Michigan are run by for- profit entities, and most of them perform below the state average, suggesting that a failing charter school is automatically better than a successful traditional public school in the view of that system. We in Rhode Island would not want to see that system move into Rhode Island or moved to a national level. Second signal is when the charter school advocates fail to recognize, as I believe you have actually recognized, that there are ongoing costs and responsibilities that a traditional public school must continue to shoulder even as students leave with their funding for charter schools. And that is so clear a proposition now that the investment service Moody's has written about it and talked about the danger of a downward spiral because it actually adds costs when you have to maintain the public traditional school and the charter school until the system can adjust. Can you assure us that your desire for charter schools is sincere, and that as secretary of education, you will steer away from efforts to deny traditional public school funding the funding they need to manage the charter school transition, and you will make sure that charter schools have to live up to their promise and you are not just going after traditional public schools when they are available? DEVOS: Senator, thank you for that question. Let me begin by again stating that my advocacy and my orientation is really around parents and students and their choosing the right education for their children. And so when parents choose charter schools, they are doing so because they think that it is a better spot for their children. You have my commitment that I will be an advocate for all great schools, no matter their form, their version. I will be an advocate for parents being able to make those choices. Because their -- WHITEHOUSE: I get that, but the question is, do you understand when the parent make that choice and the child moves to the charter school and the funding moves with the child, that leaves a funding gap at the previous school that it can't instantaneously or magically fill. That is a real problem that Moody's. DEVOS: Indeed, and I think this is a good example of an issue that is best addressed at the state level by each state and acknowledging that each state will have unique circumstances in that regard. WHITEHOUSE: The problem is that it will be hard to address that at the state level if you make the federal department of education a crusader for moving kids to charter schools without any recognition of the legacy cost of the public school system. If it is your intention to create a downward spiral, that is not solved by different state policies. that is where we need you as secretary of education to commit to recognize that there is this problem, and you will keep in mind not only the charter schools and the parents going there, but the traditional schools and the parents staying there. DEVOS: Well certainly, as we spoke in your office, I think that this is an issue, and is probably unique to some states more than it is to others. But again, I will refer back to the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act, and the opportunities states have to address the unique challenges of their states. I will be a crusader for parents and students and the quality of their education, not for specific arrangements of how school is delivered. WHITEHOUSE: Let me ask you one other quick question. for 10 years you served on the board of the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty which calls climate change unfounded and of undue concern. You and your husband have contributed to the Thomas Moore Law Center, touting itself as the sword and shield of people of faith, which has repeatedly promoted fake science and even going so far as to represent the Dover Area school district of Pennsylvania and the lawsuit over the adoption of a biology textbook including intelligent design. The S in Stem, which everybody is for is Science. If school districts around the country tried to teach students junk science, will the Department of Education be with the students or with the political entities trying to force the junk science into the science programs? DEVOS: Well Senator, I think it is pretty clear is that the expectation is science is taught in public schools. I support the teaching of great science and especially science that allows students to exercise critical thinking and to really discover and examine in new ways. And science to be supported at all levels. WHITEHOUSE: I would have liked, Mr. Chairman, to make inquiries about Pell grants to follow up on some of these answers which were directed towards the question but maybe not completely responsive to the question and to ask were the department will go on this nightmarish problem of college for profits that have taken these kids and robbed them of their education, robbed them of their money and set them loose with a piece of paper that is not worth anything. But I believe this is -- and as I said, 'm very fond of you, and I'm very fond of this committee, and I don't recall ever being told that I could never have a second round in a hearing as a matter of principle before. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Senator Whitehouse. I'm going to take my five-minute round now and go back to something that Mrs. DeVos brought up and something that several senators brought up. I want to talk about the law that the president called the Christmas miracle that this committee produced, which fixed No Child Left Behind. It was passed in December 2015 under the current administration. The plans are, under the law we call ESA. Senator Franken may have been the first person to suggest that. But the plan -- no, I should have known better. The department is planning, is on a path to save the states. every state will have to get their new title I plan and to get their federal money and their title 2 plan, which really a tremendous opportunity to take advantage of the innovation states that wanted the flexibilities we have given them. The current administration is on a path to say to states, get your plans in, we will approve them in the spring or summer. you can implement the plans in the school year that begins next year. But will you, is it your intention to continue on that path, on that schedule? DEVOS: Absolutely, senator, and if there is any confusion or confusion -- questions around the transition, rest assured it will be a high-priority if confirmed for me to ensure that the plan is adhered to and that the law is implemented, as you all intended. ALEXANDER: My guess is in most of our states, plans are being circulated among various groups. And people will, if you are confirmed, people will be looking for a signal from you that you can get your plan in Spring or Summer, and we will try to approve it or consider it so that you can get onto the next year. My second question is, as you can tell we have considerable differences of opinion here in the committee, and we resolved them well enough to pass a bill that I think 85 of us voted for -- we worked out some difficult issues. We even put what Senator Murray likes to call guardrails on the states, and we even put some guardrails on the secretary of education, which my colleagues on the democratic side may now think better of, that we did that. But would you -- what is your attitude toward respecting the authority that congress gives you and trying to implement the law according to the way it is written rather than trying to legislate from where you are? For example, you believe very strongly in giving low income parents more choices of schools. We debated that and only got 45 votes for Senator Scott's bill and for my bill so it's not in a law. Would you then try to write a regulation to implement that through the US Department of Education even though congress couldn't do it? DEVOS: Senator, it would be my goal, if confirmed, to implement laws as you intended them. I acknowledge that it is your role to write laws and pass laws, and it would be the department's role to implement as intended. And that is my commitment. ALEXANDER: So you wouldn't be -- no matter how strongly you feel about school choice, for example, you wouldn't be prepared to mandate Washington State or Tennessee adopt a particular school of choice plan? DEVOS: No, I would hope I can convince you all of the merit of that in maybe some future legislation, but certainly not any kind of mandate from within the Department. ALEXANDER: The scholarship for kids legislation that I proposed that got 45 votes, which was not enough, and that Senator Scott proposed a more limited version that had to do with students with disabilities, basically said that -- I state, we can take $24 billion of federal dollars we now spend, $24 billion of the federal dollars we now spend, and a state could choose to take it's share of that money and turn it into $2,100 scholarships and let it follow the students through the schools that the state chose. So if the state did not approve of dollars going to private school or religious schools, that were accredited, it didn't have to do that, or if they did that, which I think 25 do -- it could do that. So in that case, it would allow the states to make the decision and the parents to make the choice, rather than Washington giving an order you have to do school choice. Is that the kind of school choice proposal that you would support or not? DEVOS: Yes, absolutely. We have seen a wide variety of approaches to school choice including private school choice in the now 25 states in which programs exist. And so I think it would really be dependent on each state's political realities and culture and how they wanted to approach that opportunity and that option, or if they wanted to expand it. that would be another alternative as well. ALEXANDER: Thank you. Senator Baldwin. BALDWIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I wanted to weigh in also that I hope we will get additional opportunity to ask questions. I would like it to be not in writing but to give the American people the chance to hear the exchange and responses. Mr. Chairman, I also associate myself with the concerns raised by our ranking member regarding the holding of this hearing prior to receipt of the Office of Government Ethics plan for elimination of possible conflicts of interest. Mrs. DeVos, you had the chance to answer questions already about your family's indirect investments and for-profit companies, including finance and performance, which I understand to be a collection agency that specializes in student debt collection. So I won't repeat those there, but let me get to the ethics agreement that will be forthcoming. what decision you will need to make is whether to take advantage of Section 1043 of the internal revenue code which allows you to defer capital gains taxes on the sale of assets divested in order to comply with ethics rules? This provision can allow wealthy individuals to save hundreds of millions of dollars. it is why when I became aware of this and I joined Senators Whitehouse and Warren on this committee, as well as our colleague senator Feinstein, in introducing a bill to close this loophole or at least limit the amount of capital gains that could be deferred to $1 million. Because we don't have your financial information yet from the Office of Government Ethics, my question to you is, are you planning on taking advantage of this tax loophole? DEVOS: Senator, thank you for that question. Let me just restate again that I look forward to the ethics agreement finalization with the Office of Government Ethics and committed to ensuring that I have no conflict and will go forward with no conflicts. With respect to your specific question, I do not intend to take advantage of that loophole. I have already made that conclusion, that decision. In fact, it would probably be useful to note here that again, if confirmed, I will only take a salary of one dollar so I can be official, but I don't intend to take a salary either. BALDWIN: I also listened carefully to your opening statement in your exchange with Senator Franken related to your sizable donations to a number of anti-LGBT organizations that have been associated with advocacy for the discredited practice of conversion therapy, I was heartened by your response, I will say. but I will note that these same organizations, anti-LGBT organizations, also have been hostile to nondiscrimination protections, issues like adoption, marriage equality. Given the alarm that parents have expressed to me about these donations to anti-LGBT organizations, I guess I want to ask, I mean, I assume there are LGBT students and their parents watching tonight. What would you say to them to assure them that you are going to use your position as secretary to support LGBT students or students with LGBT parents? DEVOS: Thank you, senator. Let me restate again I embrace equality, and I firmly believe in the intrinsic value of each individual, and that every student should have the assurance of a safe and discrimination-free place to become educated. I want to restate those principles of values for me. Let me comment to the things you have referred to again and suggest that you may be confusing some other family members in some of those contributions. Also, looking at contributions from 18 or 20 years ago. So I just want to again refer to what I just said about my approach. If I -- as a mom, I just can't imagine having a child that would feel discriminated against for any reason, and I would want my child in a safe environment. BALDWIN: I note that I have run out of time. Mr. Chairman, I have many more questions that I would like to propound. I will say, Mrs. DeVos, if you think that there is -- and we have been fairly general given our restricted time about the issue of charitable conservations if you will or contributions to these anti-LGBT advocacy organizations, if you feel like there has been a family member who has contributed and you are being identified in the public record is incorrect, please in writing, follow-up. I have certainly seen information quite to the contrary. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Senator Baldwin. Senator Roberts? ROBERTS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding the hearing. I thank the ranking member as well. Mrs. DeVos, thank you for being responsive, articulate, informed, and in my view, specific. I suppose, Mr. Chairman, all members could submit any specific questions they have for the record, and when did we have a time period on that, and if they had any concern they could always speak on the senate floor. Thank you for coming by my office. We had a nice visit. I let you know way back that I had the opportunity to teach also while trying to put out a newspaper on the west side of Phoenix, not Kansas but Phoenix. But at any rate, I know you fully understand the one-size-fits- all education system just does not work. you said that in your testimony. And I told you that I held a roundtable discussion in Kansas at Washburn University in Topeka with 12 college presidents , we got all of them except a few, and 12 business stakeholders, very important to those universities, to discuss higher education and workforce development given the fact that we will attempt to pass a Higher Education Bill. in particular I heard from the higher education leaders about the impact of federal programs, obviously, policies obviously, but more especially regulation on Kansas institutions of higher education. During our meeting last month in my office, I shared with you and information chart. I need a bigger chart. like the guy who said he needed a bigger boat with the shark coming after him. maybe that is not a proper allegory, but any way, these are 34 topics or areas of federal regulation. some of them are very, very, very important, but the collective judgment was that they were so intrusive, so expensive, so time-consuming was that they had to get an office of the compliance just to look at federal regulations. And then the assigned bad news bearers will go tell all the various departments that make up the Johnson County Community College, which, by the way, has the highest enrollment of any university or college in Kansas, more than the Jayhawks, more than the Wildcats, and more than the charters. And these 34 areas of federal regulation, so costly and impactful to the school, basically indicate that we need to work together to eliminate many of these burdensome regulation that hinder the institutions of higher education main goal to educate our students effectively and efficiently. So as you know, I think everybody, I think I would have agreement on the other side of the dais as well, regulations are one of the key areas this committee will focus on as we work the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. Will you be a partner in addressing many of these time-consuming regulations? DEVOS: Senator, thanks for the question, and thanks for meeting in your office. I appreciate seeing the chart again. As I am a visual learner, I really appreciate that one in particular. But yes, I can commit to you that if confirmed, I will look forward to working with you and this committee on that Act and on the regulations you have referred to. And wanting to help free our institutions of higher learning to the greatest extent possible to do what they do best. ROBERTS: Being an ombudsman for Kansas education, along with my fellow senator, it is tough when you try to go directly to the person who is in charge of that department, namely you. and I tried that before sitting down across from President Obama and complaining about regulations under his executive order to make sure every department ascribed to a cost-benefit yardstick, if you will. That did not happen. The person in charge that was supposed to get back to me was his right arm, Dennis, Dennis was in charge of war and peace and other things. I am going to recommend that maybe I ought to do it regionally. Obviously we have had people from rural areas, urban areas -- it is going to be terribly important that we get to somebody that can actually see the problem report back to you or to somebody else in your department. You can't do all this, I don't know anybody that can. But at least when we have a real problem with the 12 universities or for that matter five or six or even one, saying here is a regulation that doesn't make sense, can we at least address it? Maybe we can tweak it and maybe we can get rid of it or maybe we can do better. So I hope you can work out some kind of SWAT team, if you will, with regards to overregulation. Because that really, was the number one issue that I heard. Thank you. DEVOS: Thank you, senator. I think that sounds like a great idea. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Senator Roberts. Senator Murphy. MURPHY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. If Senator Alexander decided to allow us more than a meager five minutes of questions, Mrs. DeVos, do you have anywhere to be tonight? Would you be able to stick around and answer those questions? DEVOS: I am going to defer to the chairman on this. MURPHY: I assume you probably don't have other obligations. Let me just count myself out, I think this is a real shame, this rush job, this inability to allow the public to see this debate. Imperative to get this hearing in before we have all of the information. it really violates the best traditions of this committee and it suggests that this committee is trying to protect the nominee from scrutiny. And I hope we would reconsider. Mrs. DeVos, let me rush through these questions in the time that I have. Your family has been investors in a company called k12, a for-profit online charter operator. Gets about 80% of its money from federal or state taxpayers and it paid its CEO over $1 million in the first year, made millions and millions of dollars in profit. I can go through a long litany of examples in which people have made their fortune off of public education dollars, charter school principal in Orlando who got $519,000 payout when his school or her school was closed for poor performance. I guess my question is simple, do you support companies and individuals profiting from public education dollars that is essentially taking money away from students to pay salaries for CEOs and return for investors? DEVOS: Senator, thank you for that question. Let me just say that when it comes to education, I think what is important is what the outcomes are, what the achievements are. And I don't think the delivery mechanism is the issue as much as it is our students receiving the -- are students receiving the benefit of a great education. MURPHY: Have you met many principals in Detroit that say they have enough, they don't need any more? DEVOS: I can't really answer that question. I have not asked them specifically if they have enough. MURPHY: So if we can't agree folks shouldn't get rich off of schools, then maybe we can agree that they shouldn't be getting rich off oft terrible schools. You and I had a chance to talk in my office about the accountability regulations that were a big part of the underlying new federal education law. The department has issued final regulations that incorporate comments of basically everyone in the education field to make sure that to the extent public dollars are flowing to private schools, that they meet real standards, these accountability regulations are supported by the council of chief state school officers, the school superintendents association, civil rights groups, teachers unions. Can you assure this committee you are going to implement those accountability regulations to make sure all schools are performing and not throw ESSA implementation to chaos for states and districts around the country? Are you going to implement those accountability regulations? DEVOS: Senator, let me just restate again that I think accountability is highly important, and I support accountability for all schools, which is why I supported the most recent legislation in Michigan that is now holding all schools, including traditional public schools accountable for poor performance. And I will continue to support accountability. And I will continue to support the implementation of Every Student Succeeds Act as congress has intended it. MURPHY: So just let me ask you again. Are you going to support the implementation of existing regulations supported by a wide cross- section of the educational community that requires schools to come up with their own accountability standards, state and local-based, that will require that all schools meet some basic performance standards? I am asking you a specific question about this existing regulation and whether you are going to support it or whether you are going to use your position to undermine it or to change it. DEVOS: Well, as would be tradition with the change of administrations, I will look forward to reviewing that and again, I will restate my orientation to pro-accountability and pro- responsibility to parents and taxpayers. MURPHY: I think that is going to raise a lot of questions for administrators and school superintendents who are now trying to implement that regulation. One final question, do you think guns have any place in or around schools? DEVOS: I think that is best left to locales and states to decide. If the underlying question is -- MURPHY: You can't say definitively today that guns shouldn't be in schools? DEVOS: I will refer back to Senator Enzi and the school he was talking about in Wapiti, Wyoming. I think probably there, I would imagine that there is probably a gun in the schools to protect from potential grizzlies. MURPHY: If president trump moves forward with his plan to ban gun free school zones, will you support that proposal? DEVOS: I will support what the president-elect does. But Senator, if the question is around gun violence and the results of that, please know that my heart bleeds and is broken for those families that have lost any individual due to gun violence. MURPHY: I look forward to working with you, but I also look forward to you coming to Connecticut and talking about the role of guns in schools. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Senator Murphy. Senator Scott. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you Mrs. DeVos for taking the time to be here and your willingness to serve. A couple questions I have as it relates to kids who are consistently attending schools that are underperforming. If you look at the outcomes of their lives of the children, which I think is a very important and should be a central part of this conversation that we are having, how is the education system that our kids are involved in preparing them for the future that we hope we all get to live? A future that includes achieving the American dream. But when we look at the underperforming schools, rural areas as well as in the inner cities, many schools are still underperforming, kids that come from those underperforming schools consistently have significantly higher rates of incarceration. they have significantly higher rates of unemployment. The importance of education can't be emphasized enough for the quality of life the child will experience, responsibility the government will bear because of that poor education system. So what we can make sure that there is access to quality education in every zip code should be of paramount importance to this nation, for this committee, as well as the entire senate. I would love to hear your thoughts into the Perkins CTE programs. DEVOS: Senator, I thank you for the question and for the thought and your observations and experience behind it. I couldn't agree more that we have continued to do a disservice to so many young people in our country by continuing to force them to attend schools that are simply not working for them or for many. And the fact that 1.4 million students drop out every year, one every 42 seconds, that is a human tragedy. When you think about the lost human potential, and as you mentioned, essentially a pipeline to prison for so many of those students, that is why I continue to be an advocate for allowing parents and empowering parents with the opportunity to make the right choices for their children. And I understand that there is a whole range of those choices based on the realities of a state. That is why states need to grapple with this issue in a meaningful way. And if confirmed, I hope to be able to talk with governors and legislators about opportunities and options they have to address the needs of the students who you have referred. SCOTT: Thank you very much. I think there is another part of the education apparatus that does not get enough good attention. So often we think of technical schools as a subpar choice. As the place to go if you can't get into a four year school. It is as if we have this bachelors addiction that may not be the best interest of the student. I hope that you are committed to taking a serious look at encouraging and providing great support for high-quality technical schools. I know in South Carolina, the importance of technical schools cannot be over emphasized. When we think of high-tech manufacturing, it is really for us in South Carolina, it creates a hub in all honesty. the sectors we benefit from, the transportation sector, the Boeing 9,000 jobs in Little Charleston, South Carolina to the BMWs, the Mercedes, the Michelins, the Bridgestone. our technical schools are the reason why we are succeeding on the high-tech manufacturing jobs. One of the things I have noted is that we probably need to have a robust conversation about making sure there is flexibility in the coursework at some of the technical schools, because there is almost 6 million openings in this country. 75% do not require a college degree. Which means that if we can align what is available in the marketplace with the training and the technical schools, we might solve a major part of our unemployment. DEVOS: absolutely, senator. students, as they anticipate higher education, really need to have a full menu of options shared with them. they need to know and understand where the opportunities are, what the costs are for the various avenues that might take, and certainly technical schools, community colleges, apprenticeships, there is really a wide variety of alternative pathways to a really great future if students are really made aware of them. SCOTT: And I'm about out of time, Mr. Chairman but just to finish there, you may be familiar with the 529 plans that provide, that you can put $50,000 into an account for college education. I think the 529 plans to be a wonderful apparatus to be able to pay for or subsidize some of the cost even K-12. I would love for us to have a longer conversation on that. DEVOS: I would look forward to that senator, thank you. SCOTT: Thank you, ma'am. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Senator Scott. Senator Warren. WARREN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, as the only other party to the so called precedent of we don't have a second round. I asked my staff to pull the records from the hearing we had with King. And you said when you called on me, I think we have time for a second round. Senator warren, you can be the first in the second round. I heard that, I was the only one who stayed and had questions. ALEXANDER: That is why we had time. WARREN: I understood that the precedent -- but if you had questions for a second round, could stay and ask them. well we are doing precedents, I also understand that the precedent was that President Obama's nominees came before committee, had all filled out their ethics forms. And that those were available before we had a hearing so that we would have a chance to ask questions about them in public. So I'm a little confused about what precedent means here. Mrs. DeVos, many of my democratic colleagues have pointed out your lack of experience in K-12 public schools, but I would like to ask about your qualifications for leading the nation on higher education. The department of education is in charge of making sure that the $150 billion that we invest in students each year gets into the right hands and that students have the support they need to be able to pay back their student loans. The secretary of education is essentially responsible for managing $1 trillion student loan bank. And distributing $30 billion in Peel Grants o students each year. The financial figure of an entire generation of young people depend on your department getting that right. Now, Mrs. DeVos, do you have any direct experience in running a bank? DEVOS: Senator, I do not. WARREN: Have you ever managed or overseen a $1-trillion loan program? DEVOS: I have not. WARREN: How about a billion dollar loan program? DEVOS: I have not. WARREN: Okay, so no experience in managing a program like this. How about participating in one? I think it's important for the person who is in charge of our financial aid programs to understand what it is like for students and families who are struggling to pay for college -- Mrs. DeVos, have you ever taken out a student loan from the federal government to help pay for college? DEVOS: I have not. WARREN: Have any of your children had to borrow money in order to go to college? DEVOS: They have been fortunate not to. WARREN: Have you had any personal experience with the Pell grant? DEVOS: Not personal experience, but certainly friends and students with whom I have worked. WARREN: So you have no personal experience with college financial aid or management of higher education? Mrs. DeVos, then, let's start with the basics. Do you support protecting federal taxpayer dollars from waste, fraud and abuse? DEVOS: Absolutely. WARREN: Good, so do I. now we all know the President-Elect Trump's experience with higher education was to create a fake university which resulted in his paying $25 million to students that he cheated. So I am curious about how the trump administration would protect against waste fraud and abuse at similar for-profit colleges. So here is my question. How do you plan to protect taxpayer dollars from waste, fraud, and abuse from colleges that take in millions of dollars in federal student aid? DEVOS: Senator, if confirmed I will certainly be very vigilant. WARREN: How? How are you going to do that? You said you are committed. DEVOS: The individuals with whom I work in the department will ensure that federal moneys are used properly and appropriately. I will look forward -- WARREN: You are going to subcontract making sure that what happens with universities that cheat students doesn't happen anymore? DEVOS: No I didn't -- WARREN: You are going to give that to someone else to do? I just want to know what your ideas are for making sure we don't have problems with waste, fraud, and abuse. DEVOS: I want to make sure we don't have problems with that as well. If confirmed, I will work diligently to ensure that we are addressing any of those issues. WARREN: Well, let me make a suggestion on this. It actually turns out there are a whole group of rules that are already written and are there, and all you have to do is enforce them. what I want to know is, will you commit to enforcing these rules to ensure that no career college receives federal funds unless they can prove they are actually preparing students for gainful employment and not cheating them. DEVOS: Senator, I will commit to ensuring that institutions which receive federal funds are actually serving their students well. WARREN: So you will enforce the gainful employment rule to make sure that these career colleges are not cheating students? DEVOS: We will certainly review that rule. WARREN: You will review it? You will not commit to enforce it? DEVOS: And see that it is actually achieving what the intentions are. WARREN: I don't understand about reviewing it. We talked about this in my office. There are already rules in place to stop waste, fraud, and abuse, and I am not sure how you cannot be sure about enforcing them. You know, swindlers and crooks are out there doing back flips when they hear an answer like this. If confirmed, you will be the cop on the beat. And if you cannot commit to use the tools that are already available to you in the Department of Education, then I don't see how you could be the secretary of education. And I look forward to having a second round of questions. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Senator Warren. Senator Collins. COLLINS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I cannot help but think that if my friends on the other side of the aisle have used their time to ask questions rather than complaining about the lack of a second round, they each would have been able to get in a second question. And I now just used 15 seconds of my time to make that point. Mrs. DeVos, first of all, let me say I have no doubt that you care deeply about the education of all children. And I say that despite the fact that you and I do not agree on all the issues. Given your lifelong work and commitment to education, any suggestion such as was made earlier that your nomination is linked to your political contribution is really unfair and unwarranted. And I just want to say that for the record. I now would like to move on to some questions about how you view the federal role in education versus the state and local role. I want to put aside the D.C. opportunity scholarship program because Congress' relationship to the District of Columbia is unique. And I want to ask you, at what level of government do you believe that decisions about charter schools and vouchers should be made? Is that a federal role, or is that a state role? DEVOS: Well, thank you Senator for that question. And let me just say I really enjoyed the conversation we had in your office. And let me respond to your question about federal versus state and local role by saying, I absolutely support the fact that it is a state role and state decision what kind of offering there might be with regards to choices and education. And as we discussed in your office, Maine has a unique situation with students attending school on islands and in rural areas. And to suggest that the right answer for Maine is not the right answer for Indiana or any state is just not right and I would not support a federal mandate or federal role in dictating those. COLLINS: I am glad to hear that. I have heard repeatedly from school officials, whether it's superintendents, teachers or school board members that the single most important action that the federal government could take would be to fulfill the promise of the 1975 Individuals With Disabilities To Education Act, to fund 40% of the additional cost of educating special needs child. It has been many years since that law was passed. we have never come close to the 40%. Would you commit to taking a look at the funding of the department to see if we could do a better job of moving towards fulfillment of that promise? that is an action that would help every single school district in this country. DEVOS: Senator, absolutely I would commit to that if confirmed. I actually think this is an area that could be considered for an approach that would be somewhat different, and that maybe the money should follow individual students instead of going directly to the states. But again, I think that is something that we could discuss. And I would look forward to talking about that with the members of this committee. COLLINS: Another of my concerns, having worked at a college level for a. period of time is the low rate of college completion. there is nothing worse than a student being saddled with educational debt and not earning the credential or the degree that would enable the student to pay off that debt. I am a strong supporter of the federal TRiO Program which helps prepare students for higher education. It helps to raise aspirations, particularly of children who come from families without experience in the higher education. do you have any thoughts on how we can do a better job in supporting college success programs so that we can ensure students are able to complete their degrees or earn their credentials? DEVOS: Senator, thank you. I do think we can do a better job with preparing students, informing them before they enter college. I know the TRiO Program helps to mentor and prepare students that might not otherwise have an opportunity. And I think that is a very important and valid one to look at for perhaps, is there another and more effective way to advance that or to replicate that? Or use that in a new way to help increase the participation of students that may not otherwise pursue higher education and complete it? COLLINS: Thank you. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Senator Collins. Senator Hassan. HASSAN: Thank you, Mr. Chair and Ranking Member Murray. I certainly look forward to working on this committee with all of you and I appreciate the opportunity to participate. Mrs. DeVos, it is nice to see you again. Thank you for being here today, your family as well. And I think all of us here share a commitment to public education understand the essential nature of -- to our democracy. I would echo my colleagues' call for another round at least of questioning, because I think our job here is not to talk about ideas but actually to drill down to how things actually work in practice. And so, I want to talk about one of those situations you began to touch on in my office when we met. And it echoes a little bit of what Senator Collins was talking about an terms of full commitment to our students with disabilities and what Senator Cassidy was talking about in terms of access to quality education for children with dyslexia. My son, Ben, experiences very severe physical disabilities, he has cerebral palsy. he cannot speak, he can't use his fingers for a keyboard, he doesn't walk, but he is smart and the best kid on earth, if I could say so myself. He got a quality public education at our local school. he is a graduate of Exeter High School in Exeter, New Hampshire. And the reason he got there was because countless advocates and champions before the housing family, worked so hard to make sure he had the right to that education. And I am concerned that when students who experience disabilities receive a publicly funded voucher to attend a private school, they often don't receive adequate resources and in some cases have to sign over their legal rights under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act. So do you think family should have a recourse in the courts if their child's education does not adequately meet his or her needs, whether they get a voucher or in a more traditional public school? DEVOS: Thank you, senator, for that question. And again, I appreciated our meeting earlier last week. Let me begin by saying I appreciate and thankful that you had the opportunity with your son Ben, to find the right setting for him. And I would advocate for all parents should be able to have that opportunity to choose the right school -- HASSAN: I actually -- I had the opportunity to send him to the same public school that my daughter went to because law required that that school provide him resources that were never provided before that law was passed because they are hard. So the question is, will you enforce the law with regard to kids with disabilities if a voucher program did allow them to go someplace else? And the school said, no, it is just too expensive, we don't want to do it. DEVOS: I think that there are great examples of programs that are already underway in states Ohio has a great program and in fact, Sam and his mom are hear today, beneficiary of the John Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program. HASSAN: I understand that. And because my time is limited, excuse me for interrupting. But what I am asking you is, there is at least one voucher program in Florida, the McKay voucher program, which makes students sign away their rights before they can get that voucher. I think that is fundamentally wrong, and I think it will mean that students with disabilities cannot use the voucher system that a department under your leadership might start. So I want to know whether you will enforce and whether you will make sure that children with disabilities do not have to sign away their legal rights in order to get a voucher should a voucher program be developed. DEVOS: Well, I would love to comment to the McKay scholarship program in Florida where I believe today, 31,000 are taking advantage O.T. it, and 93% of the parents utilizing that voucher are very, very pleased with it. As opposed to 30% HASSAN: And I'm sorry, but hat is not the question I asked. So for right now, I am going to move on to one final question I really do wish we had a second round. there is a lot here that is critical to our children, especially with disabilities. with all due respect, Mrs. DeVos, has not answered my question, but the other question I had, again, because we don't have a second round, I'm trying to follow up on an answer you gave earlier to some of my colleagues. I understand that there is a foundation, the Edgar and Elsie Prince Foundation which I take it, is a foundation named for your parents? Is that correct? DEVOS: It's my mother's foundation. HASSAN: It's your mother's foundation. And you sit on the board? DEVOS: I do not. HASSAN: You do not? DEVOS: No. HASSAN: Okay, so when it made its over $5 million donation to focus on the family, you did not know anything about it? DEVOS: My mother makes the decisions for her foundation. HASSAN: Thank you. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Senator Hassan. Senator Burr? BURR: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mrs. DeVos, thank you for agreeing to serve. I think a lot of Americans watch what goes on here and say, never me. I will never go through it. I think most of us say that after an election cycle. And it is rare to find somebody who is the full monty. I mean, you don't have to do this. That is apparent. You did not have to choose education as your life's ambition, but you did. So, I thank you for the investment you have been made for all the kids who have been impacted. For the unbelievable statistics that you know about Florida, or about whatever. I'm sure you and the senator from Minnesota can come to agreement on what the numbers were that he was talking about. But I sat here and I remember, in my first election, I went in to get the support of educators. And I was 10 minutes into what looked to be a 30 to 45 minute question and answer. And after 10 minutes, I said, are there any questions that deal with kids or outcomes? And I said no. so I got up and left. You know, we can ask you all sorts of questions about you personally, and what you have done, but you came into my office. And before I ever asked a question, in several minutes, you convinced me that you are passionate about making sure that every child had the opportunity to have a successful education. And from that, every child that got that education would have an opportunity to reach for the American dream of a life that is unlimited, an opportunity that is unlimited. So you convinced me without me asking a question. I only have one question today. Why is it so difficult for us to figure out how to focus on outcome versus getting so hung up on process? DEVOS: Senator, I think that is a very good question. And I think we could have a very robust debate in this room about that. I think that human tendency is to protect and guard what is because change is difficult. And yet, we see the fact that there are millions of students who are simply not getting the opportunity for an equal opportunity for a quality education. and, we try to tinker around from the top, and we try to fix things, but it becomes more about the system, I'm afraid, then it does about what is right for each child. And so I thank you for your support, and your encouragement around the notion that every child should have the opportunity. Every parent should have the opportunity, on behalf of their child to choose the right educational environment for them. And I'm hopeful that, if we can continue having a robust conversation about this, that we will talk about the great schools that our children have the opportunity to go to 10 years from now, many of which may not exist today, or look very different from what it exists today. I think the opportunity to innovate and education is virtually unlimited, and has been really untested to a large extent. So I am very hopeful that we will have that opportunity and that opportunity for that kind of conversation. BURR: I think we will, and I hope the committees sees it in their actions to make sure that you are at he helm of the Department of Education. As I look across America, and across the world, I see an age where technology is going to impact things that we did not even dream about five years ago. What we have seen happen to our PDAs is not going into healthcare, it's going to drive manufacturing, I still remember my father at 90 years old looking at me -- just about five years ago -- six years ago and saying, I do not understand how a fax machine works. Well you know what? I never was able to explain to him. But that didn't limit my use of it and my belief that it served an important purpose. So education is going to change drastically, but what is most important is to have somebody passionate at top. Concerned about every child and every child's opportunity. For that, I'm grateful you are here. I yield. DEVOS: Thank you, Senator. ALEXANDER: Thank you Senator Burr, Senator Kaine. KAINE: Thank you, our committee leadership and thank you, Mrs. DeVos How much information do you have about the finances of the president-elect, his family or Trump related organizations? DEVOS: I do not have any of that information, senator. KAINE: So I take that you won't have any way of knowing when asked by the president to take official action in your capacity as secretary how those actions might affect his personal finance situation. DEVOS: I'm not sure I could comment on that. KAINE: And this isn't theoretical, he owns a university. I think it's relevant to assessing the wisdom of an education policy proposal to know how that proposal might affect the president's personal finances. Do you disagree with me? DEVOS: Well, I think the president-elect has taken steps to ensure. KAINE: I ask, do you disagree with me? DEVOS: Can you state your question again? KAINE: I think it's relevant to assessing the wisdom of an education policy proposal to know how the proposal might affect the president's personal finances. Do you disagree with me? DEVOS: I do not disagree with you. KAINE: Thank you. The nation deserves a secretary who is a champion of kids, parents, state and local control and outcomes. I also think the nation deserves a secretary who is a champion of public education. In a 2015 speech on education, you were pretty blunt, "Government really sucks." you called the public school system a "dead end" in order to clarify, you never attended a public school? A K-12 school, did you? DEVOS: Correct. KAINE: And your children did not either? Correct? DEVOS: That is correct. KAINE: And you have never taught in a K-12 public school, correct? DEVOS: Not, but I have mentored in one. KAINE: Okay, I worry about the fact that a leader who believes government sucks on the morale of the workforce, teachers and others do better when their morale is high. would you agree with me? DEVOS: Absolutely, and I support great teachers. KAINE: And the attitude of a leader of an organization matters a lot to the morale of the workforce, would you agree with me on that? DEVOS: Absolutely. And just with reference to the quote that you... KAINE: I would like to introduce that for the record, I don't have other questions about it and I have a very limited amount of time. I want to move on to another quote. You and your husband spoke at a conference a number of years ago. your husband said this was not attributed to you, but you were together at the conference if what I read is correct. "The church has been displaced as the public school as the center for activity, the center of what goes on in the community." Thomas Jefferson did not view public education as contrary to or competitive with church or religion, do you? DEVOS: I do not. KAINE: Do you think that schools that receive K-12 schools that receive government funding should meet the same accountability standards, outcome standards? DEVOS: All schools that receive public funding should be accountable. Yes. KAINE: Should meet the same accountability standards? DEVOS: Yes. Although you have different accountability standards between traditional public schools and charter schools. KAINE: I'm very interested in this. Should everybody be in a level playing field. So public charter or private k-12 schools, it they receive taxpayer funding, they should meet the same accountability standards. DEVOS: Yes. They should be very transparent with the information, and parents should have that information first and foremost. KAINE: And if confirmed,. would you insist upon that equal accountability in any K-12 school or educational program that receives federal funding whether public, public charter or private. DEVOS: I support accountability. KAINE: Equal opportunity for all schools that receive federal funding? DEVOS: I support accountability. KAINE: Is that a yes or a no? DEVOS: That is a "I support accountability." KAINE: Do you not want to answer my question? DEVOS: I support accountability. KAINE: Okay, let me ask you this, I think all schools that receive taxpayer funding should be equally accountable, do you agree with me or not? DEVOS: Well, they don't, they are not. KAINE: But I think they should. Do you agree with me or not? DEVOS: Well, no, because. KAINE: You don't agree with me. Let me move to my next question. Should all K-12 schools receiving governmental funding be required to meet the requirements of the Individual with Disabilities Education Act? DEVOS: I think they already are. KAINE: Okay, so but I'm asking you a should question. Whether they all right or not, we will get into that later. Should all schools that receive taxpayer funding be required to meet the requirements of the individuals with disabilities and education DEVOS: I think that is a matter that is best left to the states. KAINE: So some states might be good to kids with disabilities, and other states might not be so good, and then people can move around the country if they don't like how their kids are being treated? DEVOS: I think that is an issue best left to the states. KAINE: What about the federal requirement? It's a federal law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, let's limit it to federal funding. If schools receive federal funding, should they be required to follow federal law whether they are public, public charter, or private? DEVOS: As the senator referred to... KAINE: Just yes or no. I only got one more question. DEVOS: Florida's program, there are many parents that are very happy with the program there. KAINE: Let me say this, I think all schools that receive federal funding, public charter, or public, should be required to meet the conditions of the individuals with disabilities and education act. Do you agree with me or not? DEVOS: I think that is certainly worth the discussion and I would look forward... DEVOS: So you can not yet agree with me. And finally should all K-12 schools receiving governmental funding be required to report the same information regarding instances of harassment, discipline or bullying if they receive federal funding? DEVOS: I think that federal funding certainly comes with strings attached. KAINE: I think all schools should be required to report equally information about discipline, harassment and bullying, do you agree with me or not? DEVOS: I would look forward to reviewing that provision. KAINE: If it was a court, I would say to the court, let the judge instruct the witness to answer the question, it's not a court and you're not under oath, not under subpoena, but you are trying to win my vote. Thanks, Mr. Chairman. ALEXANDER: Thanks, Senator Kaine. Senator Murkowski? MURKOWSKI: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mrs. DeVos, thank you for coming to my office. I had an opportunity to walk you through the map of Alaska. Hopefully, educate you at some -- to some of the challenges that we face as a state in delivering education in what is not a rural state but what has been described as a frontier state in many, many ways. 82% of the communities in the state of Alaska are not attached by road. They are islanded in every sense of the word. I had an opportunity, on Saturday, to meet with about 400 teachers from around the state. I will tell, they are concerned about your nomination. they are concerned because they would love to have the choice that we are talking about, but when you are a small school in Buckland, when you are a small school in King Cove, when here is no way to get to an alternative option for your child, the best parent is left relying on a public school system that they demand be there for their kids. So I want to be sure, and I think every one of those teachers that I met with on Saturday wants to make sure that your commitment to public education, particularly for rural students, who have no choices is as strong and robust as the passion you have dedicated to advancing charter schools. I appreciated your responses to Senator Cassidy because he was very direct and you gave very reassuring answers there that you are not seeking to undermine or to erode public schools. I appreciated what you said in response to Senator Alexander's the chair's questions about whether you would work move toward a voucher type of system, if in fact, we in the congress said that is not the direction. I tried to assure the teachers I was talking to that they are not sufficient votes to voucherize the system. I appreciate the inquiry that Senator King has been making though about the level of accountability. And this was something that was brought up in the Q&A session in Anchorage was that a concern that there would not be an effort to match that accountability to those schools that receive federal funding, either through a voucher f program, a federal match through education and saving account dollars, but that, in addition to performance standards, that there would be true accountability with adhering to federal laws for civil rights as well as students with disabilities. So I will ask for a continuation of the discussion. you have I think, provided some very responsive comments, that I think will help our teachers in Alaska, where again, their options and their choices are very limited. But how can you provide assurance to these teachers, these families, and these students, for whom alternatives and options are severely limited. Not because we don't want them, but because our geography really isolates us. DEVOS: Well, thank you, senator, for that question. I really appreciated our conversation and a review of the map because it does remind us of the unique challenges that Alaska has. I would say that I can assure you that, if confirmed, I will support Alaska and its approach to educating its youngsters. I have to say, I think that the creativity and innovation that Alaska has employed through the traditional public system is one that other states can probably take note of and learn some lessons from. we hope that they continue to feel the freedom and that drive to continue to educate and innovate. MURKOWSKI: We are quite proud of some of the innovation we have made. We have a great deal of choice within our urban centers from my colleagues education, and edification, Anchorage hosts six of the most ethnically diverse schools in the United States of America, and we are sitting in Anchorage, Alaska. So I have that level of diversity but then I have rural villages where I may have no more than 60 kids in a school. And in order for them to have the same benefits and opportunities, the dollars that flow, and the commitment that flows to those families, that there is a level of accountability throughout remains a very significant challenge. So I need to have a very clear and a very firm commitment that the focus you will give to not only Alaska, but states that have significant rural populations, that these students who will not have alternatives, that that public school system is not undermined, eroded, or ignored. DEVOS: Absolutely, Senator, you have my commitment. And in fact, as I said, I think there is so much that Alaska can share with others in terms of how to address challenges of very widespread student populations. MURKOWSKI: Thank you, Mr. Chair. ALEXANDER: I will now turn to Senator Murray. MURRAY: Mr. Chairman, I just have to start by saying, and I hope this does not count against my time on questions but it's not a question, for question, I have questions that I know all of our committees want to follow up including on the response I just heard on IDA, sexual assault and Pell grants and a number of other questions. Let me just say, I am really disappointed that you have preemptively cut off our members from asking questions. It really is unprecedented. you and I have worked together, and I appreciate that, but I hope you change your mind. I don't know what you are protect Mrs. DeVos from. She should get robust scrutiny, she is the overseeing the education of all of our kids. And what is happening in higher education and much more. And to be very clear, this is not what we have done in this committee. From Michael Levitt, President Bush's second secretary of health and human services, five members participated in the second round, from Andrew Von Eschenbach, President Bush's third FDA commissioner, three member participated, in the second round, Hilda Solis, President Obama's first secretary of labor, three members participated in the second round, the hearing was actually over four hours. Tom Daschle, President Obama's nominee to be secretary of health and human services, four members participated in the second round. Alexis Herman, President Clinton's second secretary of labor, three and a half hour hearing 10 minutes of questioning Rod Paige, I mentioned, Secretary of education, President Bush's nominee, ten questions. So I hope we are not just cherry picking Senator Duncan and king, who had a broad history behind them when they came to this. And I really would like to enter into transcripts scripts that I have showing the actual precedent of this committee into the record. I think it's important for all of us to remember that. And given the lack of paperwork from the OGE and the numerous outstanding questions that I know my members have, that are still sitting here, it's 8:15 at night, they wouldn't be sitting here if they didn't have additional questions. I would like to call at least for a second hearing for this nominee. ALEXANDER: Do you want me e to respond to that now? do you have additional questions yourself? MURRAY: I do have additional question, yes. ALEXANDER: Well let me respond in this way. You know the respect I have for you and for each member of this committee and for how we worked together but what you are asking me to do is to treat Mrs. DeVos differently than we treated President Obama's two education secretaries, and I am not going to do that. We are already at - this hearing started at 5:15, it's 8:15. That is three hours and five minutes of of questions. Secretary Duncan, President Obama's first secretary, the hearing was two hours and two minutes. John King, President Obama's current secretary was two hours and 16 minutes. This is already three hours, and we are not finished yet. And as far as questions go, each member of this committee has had an opportunity to visit with Mrs. DeVos in their office, and I believe she has done that. Several members of this committee have already sent her written questions, which she will answer before we vote on her nomination. She has complied with all of the rules of the committee. The committee rules do not require that the Office of Government Ethics report be in by the time we actually have the hearing. She submitted her information there on the 12th -- I believe the 12th -- on the fourth of January. And Mrs. DeVos, I understand you are working and will continue to work with the office of government ethics and sign an ethics agreement. Is that correct? DEVOS: That is correct, Mr. Chairman. ALEXANDER: And the purpose of that, for those watching, there is a designated government office that works with the nominees, and comes to an agreement with them if there is any conflict of interest. And if she, for example, needs to divest herself of something, that will be part of the agreement. That she has said that she will do whatever she needs to do to gain an agreement with the go Office of Government Ethics so that the letter of agreement will say she has no conflicts of interest. I have said that that letter will be public, at least by Friday, before we vote on her nomination by next Tuesday. so, you will have the opportunity to question her in your office, to question her today, either as extensively as you did either of President Obama's nominees. You have the opportunity to submit additional written questions after this hearing for up to two days when we had Secretary Perez before the committee, Senator Harkin only gave us one day. I would say two days, by the close of Thursday. then, you will have three or four days after the Office of Government Ethics letter of agreement says that she has no conflicts of interest is public to decide how to vote. That seems to me to be entirely reasonable. I have already agreed to move the hearing one week, at the request of the Democratic and Republican leadership, so they could consider other nominations. And finally on the tax return issue, it is not a requirement of this committee that nominees provide us with their tax return. they provide us with it their financial information just as senators do provide publicly their financial information. It is not a lot to provide their tax return. So she is doing everything that the rules of the committee say she should do and I'm treating her in terms of questions the same way that we treated President Obama's two education secretaries. So I'm not going to have a second round. I would be happy to extend to you, if you would like, the chance to ask questions. And then, I will do the same, which is consistent with what we did for the two previous Obama secretaries. MURRAY: Mr. Chairman, with all due respect, this nominee is the only one to not submit an LGE paperwork before our hearing. So our members have not had the opportunity to review it or ask questions about it. And I appreciate private meetings, I'm sure all of us do, but our constituents want to hear what this nominee has to say to because of a vast history on the issue of education that concerns a lot of people. ALEXANDER: Well if I may. MURRAY: And let me just say, that Tillerson had three rounds of hearing, Sessions, had two rounds, Carson, had two rounds. Zenke had three rounds. So I am unclear why education is not just as important as these others. ALEXANDER: If it is important under trump, it is important under Obama. I do not know why suddenly we have this sudden interest. And as far as several people have mentioned Secretary Paige here tonight. He did not have his Office of Government Ethics letter in before his hearing. It came in after his hearing. The same was true with Elaine Chao when she became a cabinet member. So that has not been a consistent pattern either. I have tried to be as fair as I can, and following what I believe to be the golden rule. And we have gone for more than three hours in an extensive hearing, which is just part of a discussion as you evaluate how you are going to vote when it comes up before the committee... CASEY: Mr. Chairman? ALEXANDER: Yes? CASEY: If the request is reasonable, we are only asking for five minutes per member on a set of issues that are just as important at the beginning of a new administration which is a change in parties. It's a new - a lot of new policies coming forward and as Senator Murray said, we did have time in our office, I think most of us probably had half an hour, but our constituents were not there for half an hour for asking for another five minutes, I don't think is in anyway reasonable. ALEXANDER: Well, Senator Casey, I have enormous respect for you, but the Obama administration was also a change in administration, and I did not hear any great cry for a second round questions. This is a three-hour hearing, three hours and 10 minutes now, in addition to all the information that is there. I do not think it is fair to expect that we will treat a Republican president's education nominee differently than we treated a Democratic presidents education nominee. Senator Bennet? BENNET: Mr. Chairman, I think you are one of the fairest people in town. And you didn't know, you have earned that. You really are. But to me, the fact that Republican members of the senate did not want to ask a second round of questions for the Obama nominee to the senate, the idea that that should be a precedent for the Democrats, eight of whom are here tonight -- to ask questions, even follow-up to questions that we have heard tonight, I think is really unfair and uncharacteristic. And I hope that if we can't have the questions here, that we will have another hearing -- if we can't have another hearing, that we have an assurance that every single question asked by every single member of this panel and submitted in writing is the answered before this vote can go forward on the floor. The paperwork is submitted before we can go forward on the floor. I do not think that is a satisfactory result. But if we cannot ask the questions today, I hope you and the majority leader will consider that. ALEXANDER: I have already said that members will have an opportunity to ask questions in writing, which they already have. Many of you have already done that. You can ask additional questions in writing. you can have that in by 5:00 on Thursday, and I also said that is one more day that Senator Harkin gave us when Perez was our labor secretary, I said that is air, I said second that we will schedule an executive session on next Tuesday, where will we will be glad to discuss the tax return issue whether we want to apply tax returns of future nominees who come before this committee. And we will vote on Mrs. DeVos, but only if the letter agreement from the Office of Government Ethics is complete by this Friday, and made available to all members of the committee so you have three or four days to see how that will affect your vote. FRANKEN: Mr. Chairman, very short questions. ALEXANDER: Senator Franken? FRANKEN: Are we assured that before this vote on Tuesday that we will have the answers to these questions? Because what I heard is we can submit a question, but here, at least the nominee has to answer them. Are you assuring us that before the vote on Tuesday, our questions will have been answered? ALEXANDER: Well, the number of questions needs to be reasonable and the answers need to be reasonable, and that is in the eye of the beholder , sometime. the most number of questions that was ever asked a nominee before this committee, I'm told was 191 to Secretary Perez. I will not say there is a certain number that is reasonable. I'm confident that Mrs. DeVos will make an effort to give a reasonable as complete an answer to the question as she can. FRANKEN: So the answer we won't be assured of that? ALEXANDER: Well, yes, you will be assured that Mrs. DeVos, what would your answer be? Will you do your best to answer the questions you will receive after 5:00 on Thursday before the possibility of a vote next Tuesday. DEVOS: I would certainly endeavor to have all of the questions responded to. ALEXANDER: Senator Baldwin. BALDWIN: Mr. Chairman, did you make any announcements about whether there will be more than one rounds of questions tomorrow when we convene to hear Mr. Price's representative Price's? ALEXANDER: I was not planning on more than one. BALDWIN: Because I have heard various members who have done the research during the course of this proceeding indicate that there have been additional rounds for witnesses, or nominees, that have come before this committee in other departments than education. I can tell you, that perhaps half -- I perhaps got to propound half of my questions today. Tomorrow, given the breadth of that department, I have many, many more. ALEXANDER: Well since I'm talking a lot about precedent tonight, let me look at the precedent and see what that say s. I told Dr. Price that, in my experience, one round of questions would pretty well do it. Except, usually we have, Senator Murray and I followed up. let in case, Senator Warren a diligent member of the committee and is often here, I congratulate her for that. But let's say, me think about that. Senator Warren? WARREN: Mr. Chairman, can I ask about the precedent? Just because I want to make sure I understand it. When we go back and examine the record, will we find instances where people asked for a second round of questions and were refused? ALEXANDER: Will you find instances where they were asked and refused, I do not know the answer to that. But if you go back to President Obama's two education secretaries, there was one round of five-minute questions. Then the chairman asked a question and one other senator asked a question and that is what we are doing tonight. WARREN: As you said in the hearing, I think we have time for a second round. those were your words. you said, "Senator warren, you can be the first in the second round." Which I believe to mean had there been anyone else who wanted to ask a question, they could have. But no one was refused the opportunity to as, it's just that people were satisfied with the nominee and had no further questions. ALEXANDER: Well I can guarantee you that many of us were not satisfied with the last nominee but out of difference to the president, and the institution, thought that it would be appropriate for us to defer to the precedent and that it was important to have a secretary in place. You are a very exceptional law professor and I don't want to get into a -- that kind of discussion with you. My guess is that I looked over there and saw you and you asked if there can be a second round and I said, yes. So I think we are the only still in the room. You know, we have to bring this to a conclusion. I think Mrs. DeVos, we are not going to have a second round of questions tonight. WARREN: Mr. Chairman, I just want to be clear, this is the first time ever that someone has asked for a second round of questions and then refused? ALEXANDER: No, no one said that, except you. WARREN: Well, you haven't said otherwise. ALEXANDER: No, that is and what I mean -- Lewis Carroll would be proud of that. That is a little. WARREN: I'm sorry, did you say that you have refused anyone a second round? ALEXANDER: No, I said that Lewis Carroll would be proud of that kind of reasoning. What I'm saying is I look straightforwardly at the process that we had with President Obama's education secretary, and determined we would do the same thing for President-Elect Trump's nominee. If I were to be even more careful, I would point out that she now spent 50% more time here in this hearing than either Secretary Duncan or Secretary King did for President Obama. She has visited every one of your offices. She asked to go in December, nobody made time to see here in December so so she came in January , I believe that is correct. And then she has received questions from you which she is going to answer. We have said that she has completed the FBI background. She has followed every rule the committee has and I said we will consider the tax return question at an executive session next week, but whether we change the rules and require that for future nominees, you can decide to do that if you wish to do that. We senators do not do it for ourselves and we don't do it for our nominees so we can talk about that, and that you have two days to ask additional written questions. She will do a reasonable number of them, she will do her best to give you reasonable answers to them and that we will not go forward with a vote next Tuesday, unless her letter agreement is public by Friday, and available for you to review it. So that is my decision. And I think that is what we will do tonight. Now we will conclude the hearing by inviting Senator Murray, if she has any additional questions to ask, to do that, and then I will ask some and then we will be finished. MURRAY: So Mr. Chairman, I take those as a definitive answer. ALEXANDER: As definitive as I can be. MURRAY: Well since I only have one question, I will ask one you probably won't like. Mrs. DeVos, President-Elect Trump was recorded bragging about kissing and groping and trying to have sex with women without their consent. He said on tape that when you are a star, they let you do it, you can do anything. I was and I remain very outraged by those comments. And that outrage grew following the release of that recording to series women came forward to publicly accuse President-Elect Trump of exactly the type of behavior that he bragged about on tape. I take accusations of this type of behavior very seriously. If this behavior, kissing and touching women and girls without their consent happened in the school, would you consider it asexual assault? DEVOS: Yes. MURRAY: One in five young women will experience sexual assault while in college. we are joined tonight by several sexual assault survivors, who are brave enough to come here tonight, because this issue is so important to them. Can you promise them and me that you will not as has been in the press, consider "reigning in"" the office for civil rights and the departments work to protect students from campus sexual assault? DEVOS: Senator, if confirmed, I commit that I will be looking very closely at how this has been regulated and handled, and with great sensitivity to those who are victims, and also considering perpetrators as well. Please know, that I am very sensitive. MURRAY: I heard you say that but you will not take back the words that you will "reign in" the Office For Civil Rights. DEVOS: I do not think those were the words that I used. MURRAY: Well that is a quote that has been attributed to you. We spent, I thank Senator Casey on this as well, this is extremely important to women and men across the country and I hope that you will take back the words of "reigning in the office of civil rights and the department's work on sexual assault. Mr. Chairman, I'm going to turn to Senator Hassan for the last part of my questions. HASSAN: Thank you, Senator Murray. Just two quick things, Mrs. DeVos, I just wanted to clarify the issue on whether or not you are on the board of your mother's foundation. I have 990s up through 2013 where you are listed as vice president and a board member. So was that just a mistake on your part? DEVOS: That was a clerical error. I can assure you I have never made decisions on my mother's behalf on her foundation board. HASSAN: So the listing that you were the vice president of the board was incorrect? DEVOS: That is incorrect. HASSAN: Okay, thank you. The other thing I just wanted to circle back to. I want to go back to the individuals with disabilities and education act. That is a federal civil rights law so if you stand by your statement a few minutes ago that it should be up to the states whether to follow it? DEVOS: Federal law must be followed where federal dollars are in play. HASSAN: So were you unaware when I just asked you about the IDA that it is a federal law? DEVOS: I may have confused it. HASSAN: Guarantees absolutely basic protection to students with disabilities to ensure that they are afforded a high-quality education with their peers -- one of the reasons that it is difficult to have this hearing and fully understand your perspective is because we do know that children with disabilities in at least some of the voucher programs that you have supported, have gone with a voucher to their school because of their disability, they have to leave the school, the school keeps the money, and they go back to public schools, that now have even less resources to deal with them. And many of us see this as a potential for turning our public schools into warehouses, for the most challenging kids with disabilities or other kinds of particular issues or the kids who parents cannot afford to make up the difference between the voucher and the cost of private school tuition. So I just would urge you to become familiar should you be nominated with the Individual Disabilities and Education Act. And I do have to say I'm concerned that you seem so unfamiliar with it, and that you seem to support voucher schools that have not honored, that have made students sign away their rights to make sure that the law is enforced. that is very troubling to me. DEVOS: Senator, I assure you that if confirmed, I will be very sensitive to the needs of the special needs students and the policies surrounding that. HASSAN: And with all due respect, it is not about sensitivity. Although that helps, it is about being willing to enforce the law to make sure that my child and every child has the same access to public education, high-quality public education. And the reality is the way the voucher systems that you have supported work don't always come out that way. That is why it is something we need to continue to explore. Thank you. ALEXANDER: Thank you Senator Hassan and Senator Murray. Thank you to Mrs. DeVos for being here. I appreciate your being here for three hours and 15 minutes and giving us a chance to ask you questions you have set a record in terms of the last three education secretaries in any event. I am going to put in the record, with consent, a letter from the log cabin Republicans, who wrote to me as chairman of the committee, about a suggestion that you might be anti-gay. According to Gregory T Angelo, president, he said, far from being an anti-gay fire breather, Mrs. DeVos actually has a history of working with and supporting gay individuals. when her senior adviser, Greg McNeilly was accosted by Michigan state senator who threatened to make his sexual orientation a matter of public record because of his opposition to a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality, Mrs. DeVos put an end to the bullying and harassment. Furthermore in 2013, Mrs. DeVos called for the resignation of then Republican National Committee Man, Dave Agema, for posting erroneous and vitriolic antigay statements on line. Mrs. DeVos should be commended for proving that differences of opinion relating to marriage equality do not equate to anti-gay and as most log cabin republican stand in support of her nomination for secretary of education and encourages for a swift confirmation. Senators who wish to ask additional questions to our nominee. Those are due by the close of business on Thursday, Jan 19. For all other matters, the hearing record will remain open for 10 days. Members may submit additional information for the record within that time. The next hearing of our committee will be tomorrow morning at 10:00 for the nomination of Tom Price for United States Secretary of Health and Human Services. Thank you for being here. WARREN: Mr. Chairman, I also have a letter I just like to add for the record as well from the Massachusetts Charter Public Schools Association, raising questions about accountability. they are strong supporters of charter schools, but very concerned with Mrs. DeVos' record with accountability for charter schools in Michigan. ALEXANDER: Thank you Senator Warren, it will be included in the record. The committee will stand adjourned (UNKNOWN) Let me on unadjourn the committee for a moment out of -- I would have a suggestion that I hope might resolve a problem earlier which is my understanding is that under rule 26, that the standing rules of the senate, three of us have the right to ask you to call minority witnesses before the committee to whom we could address questions. And that may be a way through this so I would make that request assuming that... ALEXANDER: Well that request has been made earlier, and I denied that. we have not done that in my experience. That would -- our tradition is to invite the nominee, ask the nominee questions, which we have done. They go through the process, which I have described at length. I appreciate your request, but I'm not going to agree to it. The committee is adjourned.
Jeudimage: programme of 4 January 1968
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