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DeVos calls out special education leaders

| Monday, July 17, 2017, 12:48 p.m.
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos

Where is Betsy DeVos today?

The U.S. Department of Education tells the Trib's education team that DeVos on Monday called out special education leaders gathered in Arlington, Va., at the Office of Special Education's Leadership Conference.

DeVos, who has been a champion of charter schools and alternatives to traditional public classrooms, continued to tout school choice to the group. She referred to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling requiring a public school district to pay private school tuition for a special education student as a major victory for children with disabilities.

The education secretary commended the U.S. Supreme Court's March ruling in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District.

In the 8-0 ruling this spring, the court found in favor of a Colorado family that sued to force a public school to pay their child's private school tuition after the child, who had autism, left the public school and achieved better progress in the private school.

DeVos urged those at the conference to follow Chief Justice John Roberts' admonition that individual education plans for special education students be "appropriately ambitious."

"We should celebrate the fact that unlike some countries in the world, the United States makes promises that we will never send any student away from our schools. Our commitment is to educate every student. Period," DeVos said in prepared remarks.

"When it comes to educating students with disabilities, failure is not an option. De minimis isn't either," she said.

Debra Erdley is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-320-7996, or via Twitter @deberdley_trib.

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