A little more detail/quotes from first spray and listening session with parents and educators. Reince Priebus and Jared Kushner were both spotted by pool just before the president walked in -- both of them heading over to congratulate DeVos. The education secretary sat to the president's left; VP Pence was sitting across from the president.
"We want every child in America to have the opportunity to climb the ladders of success. We want every child, also, to have a safe community and we're going to do that...It all begins with education, and that's why we're here this morning...Right now, too many of our children don't have the opportunity to get that education that we all talk about. Millions of poor disadvantaged students are trapped in failing schools...That's why I want every single disadvantaged child in America, no matter what their background or where they live, to have a choice about where they go to school. It's worked out so well in some communities where it's been properly run and property done...We can never lose sight of the connection between education and jobs. I'm bringing a lot of jobs back...We've lost a lot of our best jobs to other countries, and we are bringing them back."
DeVos: "I'm really excited to be here today with parents and educators, representing traditional public schools, charter public schools, home schools, private schools -- a range of choices. And we're eager to listen and learn from you, your ideas for how we can ensure that all of our kids have an equal opportunity for a high quality, great education."
As participants went around the table, Trump got into a conversation with Jane Quenneville, principal of a Virginia school specializing in special education in Virginia.
"Have you seen a big increase in the autism -- the children with -- ?" Trump asked her.
Quenneville said she had, noting her school had shifted its population to accommodate more of those students.
"So what's going on with autism, when we look at the tremendous increases, really, it's such an incredible -- it's really a horrible thing to watch," he said. "Maybe we can do something."
Participants at the session, per the White House:
Ms. Carol Bonilla, Spanish teacher at a private school
Mr. Bartholomew Cirenza, Parent of seven students in a public school
Mr. Kenneth Michael Smith, Parent and president of a dropout prevention program
Ms. Aimee Viana, Parent of two students at a private school and former principal
Ms. Kathyrn Mary Doherty, Parent of a student at a private Catholic school
Ms. Laura Lynn Parrish, Parent of a home-schooled student
Ms. Julie R. Baumann, 5th grade teacher at a public school
Ms. Jane Quenneville, Principal of a public school specializing in special education
Ms. Jennifer Jane Coleman, Parent and teacher of four home-school students
Ms. Mary Caroline Riner, Parent of a student at a charter school