January 18, 2017
Yesterday, Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump's nominee to serve as the Secretary of Education, appeared before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. During the extensive and, at times, contentious hearing, several hot-button issues were raised, including standardized testing, school safety, and student loan debt. One bright moment occurred during questions put forth by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), who serves as the Senate Co-Chair of the Congressional TRIO Caucus. Noting the low rate of college completion among low-income students, Senator Collins invoked the Federal TRIO Programs as a way in which students are able to gain access to the information and support needed to enter and complete college. She went on to then ask Ms. DeVos about her views of college access programs. In response, Ms. DeVos acknowledged the work of TRIO programs and noted that TRIO could serve as a model for future federal efforts to increase college-going and college completion.
The full confirmation hearing is available online at (http://www.help.senate.gov/hearings/nomination-of-betsy-devos-to-serve-as-secretary-of-education). The exchange between Senator Collins and Ms. Betsy DeVos begins at 03:14:44.