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Lois Frankel focuses on education, not Mueller report, during visit with Wellington students

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Wellington, FL, April 22, 2019 | comments
By Jodie Wagner, Palm Beach Post

WELLINGTON — U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, has fielded plenty of questions about the recently completed probe conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller.

But her audience Monday morning had far more pressing concerns.

Frankel, who is in the midst of a two-week congressional recess, stopped by Binks Forest Elementary School to chat with fifth-grade students and deliver children’s books and other materials from the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

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The books, 30 in total, will remain in the school’s library. Binks Forest is one of 10 schools in Frankel’s district that reached out to her office about receiving donated books, but it was the only one she has delivered them to personally.

“People think that we’re all possessed by the Mueller report,” said Frankel, referring to the 448-page report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election that was released with redactions on Thursday.

“That’s not what I spend my time on,” she added of the report. “Of course I have thoughts on it, but I spend my day thinking about how we can make life better for ordinary people, how do we get our kids the best education possible, making sure these kids, if they have an earache, can get to the doctor. That’s what it’s all about. I’m a grandmother, so I have a special affinity for the little ones.”

Frankel serves on the powerful House Appropriations Committee and the subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, so securing more funding for early childhood education is a priority for her, she said.

“What’s going on in public schools is important to me, because the administration is trying to privatize education as much as possible,” she said. “When you come here and see the fantastic job that these schools are doing, it’s very encouraging.”

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During her 30-minute session with the Binks Forest students, Frankel asked them several questions about the American system of government. She also asked them what laws they would pass to make life better for people.

Those answers varied from the lighthearted — free candy for kids, shorter school days, no homework — to the serious. One student said she would pass a law that doctors had to find a cure for cancer, while another would allot more money for public education.

“I was very happy to see all these kids raise their hands,” Frankel said.

Frankel also was on the receiving end of some questions. Students asked if she’d ever met President Donald Trump, former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The answer to all four was yes. The only no? Abraham Lincoln.

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