WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, released the following statement on Monday regarding President-elect Trump’s nomination of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education:

"Our nation's elementary and secondary education system is at a fulcrum point. A new federal education law transfers authority over curriculum and standards to states and local school boards, while retaining high expectations for all our nation's public schools. At the same time, we are learning that the best schools are those that combine great teaching with inclusive, positive school climates. So I was very troubled to learn that President-elect Trump plans to nominate a person for Secretary of Education who has spent so much time funding partisan efforts to attack public education and push anti-gay political causes.  

“When Betsy DeVos appears before the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, I will have some important questions for her and for the members of our committee who will vote on her nomination. I want to know how Congress would put someone who has spent her life trying to strip funding from public schools in charge of those very schools. I will ask how Ms. DeVos if she can lead the effort to build positive school climates when she has spent so much time and money promoting discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation.  

“These are important questions that Ms. DeVos must answer, and Committee members must consider. The President-elect deserves some degree of deference from the Senate in approving the team he has selected to serve beside him. But there are some serious threshold questions that this nominee must address before she should receive a single vote on the HELP Committee.”