Education Secretary DeVos speaks at magnet school forum

FILE - In this Jan. 17, 2017 file photo, Education Secretary-designate Betsy DeVos testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is set to speak at a conference in the nation’s capital devoted to promoting magnet schools.

DeVos is a staunch advocate of school choice, and organizers hope her presence at the forum will attract attention and help boost money for magnet schools around the country.

There are more than 4,300 magnet schools in the United States that serve about 3.5 million students. They are free public schools that offer rigorous programs and innovative approaches usually focused on themes such as math, science or the arts.

Magnet schools can also provide racial and socio-economic diversity.

Todd Mann, executive director of the Magnet Schools of America group, said that magnet schools currently receive one-third of the public funding that is available to charter schools.

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