Former Republican Rep. Bill McCollum of Florida said Monday that Betsy DeVos would fight school unions and empower parents if she is confirmed as secretary of education.
In an opinion piece for The Washington Post, McCollum argued that Senate Democrats were simply using "talking points passed along by the bosses of the teachers' unions" as they criticized DeVos during her confirmation hearing two weeks ago.
"She showed her mettle in fending off their attacks," said McCollum, who served in the House from 1981-2001. "After the hearing, she also showed her graciousness, extending a hand of fellowship to Senator Warren, only to be rudely rejected by the junior senator from Massachusetts.
"She and President Trump will have four years to break the teachers' union monopoly over K-12 education and give parents a larger voice in how and where their children are educated."
McCollum added that DeVos would help Republicans implement their agenda that turns the focus away from Washington, D.C. and onto the states.
"More important, conservatives will have the opportunity to fully empower parents with more control over their children's education, through expanded charter schools and a variety of private school choice programs such as vouchers, corporate tax credits for scholarships and education savings accounts," McCollum said.
McCollum, who also served as Florida's attorney general from 2007-2011, said DeVos will take on the unions too.
"She is a proven and successful reformer who has fought and defeated the unions to expand school choice in state capitols across the country, standing with Republican and open-minded Democratic state lawmakers who are willing to put the interests of parents and students first," McCollum wrote.
McCollum currently works as chairman of the Republican State Leadership Committee.
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