Late Monday, Senate Republicans delayed confirmation hearings for Betsy DeVos, President-elect Trump’s nominee for secretary of education.
This delay gives us a critical opportunity to increase pressure on the Senate to reject DeVos. The move came after intense public pressure—your calls, emails and petitions to the Senate—demanding that ethics watchdogs have time to fully review her complex web of investments and political donations.
We need to make sure the Senate hears loud and clear that Americans want an education secretary who supports and will strengthen public education so all children have great neighborhood schools, not one who’s determined to destroy it.
As we’ve said all along—and reiterated in a major address I delivered Monday—DeVos is most ideological, anti-public education nominee put forward since President Carter created a Cabinet-level Department of Education.
She has no public education experience of any kind. She has never been a teacher or school administrator, or served on any public board of education. In fact, she would be the first U.S. education secretary who hasn’t attended public schools or sent her children to them.
DeVos has spent nearly 30 years using her family’s wealth to push an extreme agenda designed to undermine, privatize and demonize our public schools. She has a long history of pushing for school vouchers in Michigan and led two nonprofits that have spent millions of dollars electing governors and legislators sympathetic to school vouchers around the country; and she has not been shy about advancing her goals by funding campaigns against her foes.
We need a secretary of education who will be a champion for America’s public schools from pre-K through college. DeVos will not.
In Michigan, DeVos pushed for tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of public schools; tried to stop localities from funding their own public schools and advocated to divert taxpayer funds to private voucher schools; and fought for no accountability for for-profit charter school corporations, allowing them to make money off taxpayers and children, and leaving those schools’ students without rights or protections.
All children have the right to an education that helps them reach their full potential. That’s the vision of opportunity and democracy our public schools stand for and the goal Americans expect the secretary of education to strive for.
But rather than nominate someone who would strengthen and improve public schools, Trump selected a billionaire with no public education experience who would undermine and defund public schools like she did in Michigan.