Trump: DeVos’ confirmation process ‘very tough and very unfair’

Betsy DeVos
President Donald Trump listens as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos speaks during a meeting with parents and teachers, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP/WOOD) — President Donald Trump says America’s children will be the winners with Betsy DeVos as education secretary.

Trump congratulated DeVos at a White House “listening session” with people who have taught in public and private school, and others who home-school their kids.

DeVos became education secretary after Vice President Mike Pence cast a tie-breaking vote on her nomination in the Senate. Pence is also president of the Senate.

DeVos is a wealthy Republican operative and promoter of charter and private schools. Critics say she’s too inexperienced to oversee the public school system.

Trump says DeVos went through a “very tough trial and a very unfair trial” and won.

Trumps comments came during a White House meeting with teachers.

During the event, the president said he wants to know what’s going on with the “tremendous amount of increase” in autism rates.

The principal of a Northern Virginia special education center said her school had shifted its population to accommodate more students with autism. Trump asked whether she had any idea what’s going on with autism rates and told her “maybe we can do something.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last March that about 1 in 68 school-aged children have autism or related disorders — about the same as in 2014.