Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, may be the worst of them all. Of course, it’s hard to say in his cabinet of horrors. She was one of his first candidates for the cabinet in exchange for giving nearly $200,000 to the Republican National Committee and millions more to super PACs aiding Trump and GOP senators’ campaigns—including one founded by the Koch brothers this year.
She said, “collectively (it) is possible” her family has given around $200 million to Republican causes over the years. She has also donated to at least four of the senators who heard her initial testimony, and none of them recused themselves from the vote. “My family is the biggest contributor of soft money to the Republican National Committee,” she wrote in the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call. “I have decided to stop taking offense,” she wrote, “at the suggestion that we are buying influence. Now I simply concede the point. They are right. We do expect something in return.”
DeVos and her husband have given hundreds of thousands to Focus on the Family, a conservative Christian group whose founder called the battle against LGBT rights a “second civil war,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The group has also pushed so-called “conversion therapy” — discredited practices aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation — according to the Human Rights Campaign. Betsy and Dick DeVos, have spent heavily in opposition to same-sex-marriage laws in states all over the country.
She didn’t go to public schools, was never a teacher at public schools, didn’t have her children go to public schools and didn’t run a school district or state education agency, and is quoted as saying “government really sucks” and the public school system is “a dead end.” She once described education reform as a way to “advance God’s kingdom.” She supports diverting public funds to pay for kids to attend private, religious schools.
Under oath she said she wouldn’t enforce the Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act which requires that public schools provide children with disabilities a “free and appropriate” education just like other students.
She refused to promise that she would not privatize and stop funding from public schools.
She didn’t seem to understand very basic federal education laws.
She declined to say whether she believes that all schools receiving taxpayer funding — public, public charter, or private — should be held accountable to the same performance standards. She also declined to say whether such schools should be required to report suspensions and expulsions, and incidents of bullying and harassment, to the federal government.
She has no experience with college financial aid or management of higher education which is a huge part of her department.
Her only work in education has been to gut Detroit’s struggling school system which has turned their schools –including the private charters- into some of the worst in the nation.
If Trump’s voucher agenda moves forward, it is also possible that the federal government could send Title 1 funding, a $15 billion program that exclusively funds low-income public schools, to high-income private and religious schools.
Without great public education there is no hope for our democracy. We can already see the effects of schools failing to teach history, civics, critical thinking, math, science, and the arts as schools have become horribly underfunded in these last generations.
Watch this video of Tim Kaine asking her about policy https://www.washingtonpost.com/vide…
Call your Texas senators today and every and day and ask them to reject DeVos.
John Cornyn at (202) 224-2934
And Ted Cruz (202) 224-5922
Here is a link to the rest in case you’re not reading from Texas. Just put them in your phone’s contacts and it’s super easy to call every day. (Although if I ever see an incoming call from Ted Cruz I’m going to totally freak out.)
And a script from Indivisibleatx:
My name is ____ and I live in ____ I am calling to urge you to vote “NO” on the confirmation of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. DeVos has no training or experience in education and supports dangerous and unproven policies that would funnel billions of taxpayer dollars to private entrepreneurs. This is both unconstitutional and against the values of the millions of Texans who believe in the value of public education. Our children deserve better – vote “NO.”
And here is a works cited & other articles:
Out of options
School choice gutted Detroit’s public schools. The rest of the country is next. https://news.vice.com/story/school-…
Betsy DeVos’s Accountability Problem https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2017/01/betsy-devoss-accountability-problem/513047/?utm_source=twb
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Trump education pick painted by Dems as unqualified http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/17/politics/betsy-devos-education-nominee-donald-trump/index.html?sr=twCNN011817betsy-devos-education-nominee-donald-trump0114PMVODtopLink&linkId=33507830
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