Dems press Betsy DeVos about using grant money to buy guns
By Daniel Terrill
The Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos talking on the phone. (Photo: DeVos/Twitter)
Congressional democrats asked Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to clarify her position on using federal grant money set aside for low-income students to arm teachers.
Tuesday’s letter, signed by more than 160 lawmakers, makes clear that federal law prohibits the Education Department from using funds DeVos’s team reportedly considered using to provide teachers with firearms and training. DeVos has until the end of August to respond.
Details about DeVos’s plan surfaced in an article by The New York Times, which explained her department was reviewing a specific grant program for loopholes. Language in the Student Support and Academic Enrichment program makes no mention of prohibiting weapons purchases.
The $1 billion program is listed under the Every Student Succeeds Act that’s intended to support academic and enrichment opportunities in the country’s poorest schools, so using the funds otherwise would undermine the program’s spirit and intention, the Times reported. The department started floating the option after school shootings earlier this year in Parkland, Florida, and Santa Fe, Texas.
In the wake of those attacks, President Trump appointed DeVos to head a School Safety Commission to study ways to prevent future shootings. Trump and his political allies