Education committee advances DeVos nomination, moving fight to full Senate

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by Félix Pérez

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee voted this morning, 12-11, to advance Betsy DeVos’s nomination for secretary of education to the full Senate. But gauging by the unprecedented public opposition to her nomination — more than 1 million emails and 50,000 phone calls to Senators, as well as protests across the nation — the fight is far from over.

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“The level of engagement from parents, students, and educators — from both political parties — across the country in opposition to Betsy DeVos’s nomination and agenda has been nothing short of astounding. This is a clear signal that a dangerously unqualified nominee has failed to convince the American people that she is capable of doing the job for which Donald Trump nominated her,” said Utah elementary school teacher and National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen García.

“We thank the many senators who already have committed to vote no on Betsy DeVos. We also appreciate the thoughtful comments and continued questions raised in committee today by Senators Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Susan Collins, R-Maine, who announced they have not decided how they will vote on the Senate floor,” added Eskelsen García. “This is good news. It means that they’re listening. We urge them and others to continue to listen to the voices of educators and parents back home before that vote.”

DeVos, a billionaire political donor and decades-long advocate and funder of school privatization efforts, stumbled several times and failed to show a grasp of basic education issues in her hearing earlier this month. She admitted to being “confused” about the federal law for students with disabilities. She was unable to distinguish between student growth and student proficiency. She would not commit to enforcing the rights of students with disabilities in voucher and charter schools. And she would not pledge not to cut public school funding in order to fund vouchers.

DeVos’s confirmation by the Senate is uncertain

“Do note, she has not yet earned my full support… I would not advise yet that she count on my vote,” said Murkowski

The Senate has not yet set a vote date.

Reader Comments

  1. Educators need to speak out and resist the disgraceful unqualified nominee.
    Educators need to have their voices be heard! We are a powerful US force. Act like it!
    Wouldn’t it be a shame if DeVos is confirmed and educators nationwide were so upset they became too ill to work the next day?

  2. Why are all you DeVos haters so against changing the staus quo of the education department. Are you afraid of losing the secrecy that surrounds education in this country? I see it as a gain for the conservative movement and a setback to the liberal agenda that is spread by the liberal elites that have infiltrated the education department. The elites won’t allow any alternative thoughts into the discussion about how the children of the United States are educated.

  3. DeVos, a billionaire political donor and decades-long advocate and funder of school privatization efforts, stumbled several times and failed to show a grasp of basic education issues in her hearing earlier this month. She admitted to being “confused” about the federal law for students with disabilities. She was unable to distinguish between student growth and student proficiency. She would not commit to enforcing the rights of students with disabilities in voucher and charter schools. And she would not pledge not to cut public school funding in order to fund vouchers.

  4. Anyone (and I mean anyone) who would consider this woman for the position of Secretary of Education is either:
    1. as much a blithering idiot as DeVos
    2. a liar if they say she is qualified (assuming they’re not a blithering idiot; see #1 above)

    Stupidity is not a virtue. It is obvious the one who put her up for the position is nearly as stupid as she is, or more so. Wake up America.

  5. As a 45 year veteran teacher, recently retired, I cannot understand why Trump does not withdraw her nomination. She understands nothing about public schools and our students, her lack of knowledge about children with disabilities is disqualifying in itself. She also does not seem to understand how children learn, therefore, she is not qualified to be Secretary of Education.

  6. I am against Besty DeVos being Secretary of Education. She does not have qualifications for such an important position. Our children need someone with experience in this field. Their future depends on this. Please do not give her the nomination.

    Sincerely,

    Joan F. Weiss
    Newton, MA

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