News From Others
New Congressional Caucus Vows to Protect Public Education
Photo: AP

Members of Congress have formed a new interest group to support public schools.  The formation of the caucus was announced in a press conference Tuesday, where Members of Congress spoke alongside the Presidents of the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association.  The Public Education Caucus has reportedly been in the works for over a year, but members said the election of Donald Trump added a new urgency to their efforts.

Representative Mark Takano (D-CA), one of the founding members of the caucus, said that Trump’s election and the nomination of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education could “cripple our public schools and punish the millions of students who attend them,” adding that her lack of experience in the public school system gives her “an incredibly narrow view of public education in America.”  Takano also expressed concern that DeVos and the President-elect will not work to protect LGBT and other vulnerable students.  “I don’t have confidence Betsy DeVos has the background or history or commitment to make sure every students’ rights are enforced,” he told reporters.

Other members of the caucus include Democratic Representatives Mark Pocan (WI), Alma Adams (NC), Suzanne Bonamici (OR), Rosa DeLauro (CT), Mark DeSaulnier (CA), Raul Grijalva (AZ), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX), Jared Polis (CO), Jamie Raskin (MD) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ).  Members say they hope to have legislators from the Republican Party join them as well.

Rebecca Klein, “Democrats Form Congressional Caucus to Support Public Education,” Huffington Post Education, January 10, 2017.
Andrew Ujifusa, “New House Education Caucus, Union Leaders Continue Anti-Betsy DeVos Push,” Education Week: Politics K-12, January 10, 2017.

About the Author

Julia Martin is an attorney with the Washington, DC law firm of Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC. Established in 1980, the Firm is nationally recognized for its federal education regulatory and legislative practice, providing legal advice regarding compliance with all major federal education programs as well as the federal grants management requirements, including the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR). In addition, they work with agencies on federal spending flexibility, allowability, policies and procedures, audit defense and resolution and legislative updates. The Firm provides government relations services for the National Title I Association.