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DeVos touts school choice, STEM as education priorities

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has announced a set of priorities for states and schools competing for federal grant money.

The areas of focus, outlined in a statement on Wednesday, range from school choice to science and technology to special education to school safety.

The department distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in grants each year, and education secretaries have historically used these competitions to push their priorities.

"It's a little nudge," said Chad Aldeman, an associate partner at Bellwether Education Partners. "This allows the department to nudge the education field toward these priorities."

School choice, or the promotion of charter schools and private school voucher programs as an alternative to district schools, has been a focus of the Trump administration.

There are a total of 11 priorities on DeVos' list. After receiving public comments on these proposals, the agency will settle on one or several of them, according to the statement.

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