Education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos at her confirmation hearing. U.S. Senate video feed
Education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos reads an opening statement at her confirmation hearing. U.S. Senate video feed

Washington – Gov. Dannel Malloy on Wednesday joined the group of Democrats panning Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trumps’s choice to head the U.S. Department of Education.

DeVos had a bumpy hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Tuesday evening.

On Wednesday, she was the subject of ridicule on Twitter for her reply to Sen. Chris Murphy that allowing states to permit guns in and around schools could help protect against grizzly bears. She said that in a school mentioned by Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi in Wapiti, Wyo., “I would imagine there’s probably a gun in the school to protect from potential grizzlies.”

DeVos also was mocked in the twitterverse for saying states should handle the enforcement of a federal law that protects the civil rights of children with disabilities.

“I’ve had the opportunity to watch the testimony and was disappointed at her lack of knowledge as to the work done by the U.S. Department of Education,” Malloy said in an email Wednesday. “This causes me to have serious concerns.”

Republicans continued their defense of DeVos, calling her a needed reformer. On Wednesday morning, Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway appeared on Fox News and accused Democratic senators of “reprehensible” behavior because of their tough questioning of DeVos during her confirmation hearing.

But Democrats say DeVos, who is an ardent supporter of charter schools and vouchers, would undermine the public education system.

On Wednesday, Sen. Richard Blumenthal tweeted his opposition to the nomination.

“I oppose b/c we need a Secretary of Education who actually supports public schools — hasn’t worked to dismantle them,” Blumenthal tweeted.

Ana has written about politics and policy in Washington, D.C.. for Gannett, Thompson Reuters and UPI. She was a special correspondent for the Miami Herald, and a regular contributor to The New York TImes, Advertising Age and several other publications. She has also worked in broadcast journalism, for CNN and several local NPR stations. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Journalism.

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