Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) issued the following statement regarding Gov. Bruce Rauner’s enthusiastic support this week of Betsy DeVos as president-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. secretary of education:

“I am disappointed but not surprised that Gov. Rauner believes the best person to oversee the nation’s schools is a fellow billionaire with no practical experience in a classroom who has worked tirelessly in her home state to ensure corporations get a foot in the door to profit off of public education.

“Betsy DeVos has wielded great influence over Michigan’s public education system, and the results have been nothing short of alarming. Gov. Rauner continues to advocate for many of the same policies for Illinois schools.

“So it comes as no particular surprise that he joined 19 other governors this week – including Sam Brownback in Kansas, Scott Walker in Wisconsin and Paul LePage in Maine – in urging the U.S. Senate to confirm DeVos’ nomination.

“Our nation is home to many highly qualified individuals who are up to the task of guiding U.S. education policy. Betsy DeVos is not one of them, and it’s a shame that Gov. Rauner and president-elect Trump are unable to see that.”

Rauner was one of 20 governors this week who signed a letter to U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education Labor and Pensions, expressing strong support for DeVos, whose confirmation hearing was delayed because of questions about her qualifications.

Rauner's letter says that, among other things, DeVos supports "harnessing the power of competition to drive improvement in all K-12 schools, whether they be public, private or virtual," and calls the nominee "an inspired choice" for U.S. education secretary.

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