Betsy DeVos to senators: Parental choice is key in education

Posted January 18, 2017

"As one of the most critical issues impacting the future of our nation, we must have a Secretary of Education committed to the needs of all of our nation's children", the letter reads.

DeVos' confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee will be held Tuesday at 5 p.m. and the vote is scheduled for January 24...and it's expected to go in her favor.

I want to discuss Betsy DeVos' character, leadership skills, and experience, because all are imperative to her success as a cabinet secretary.

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said DeVos has an obvious antipathy to public schools and has "fought against any regulation that protected against cronyism and corruption". The couple has four children, none of whom attended public school.

Speaking of parents and families-last week, his mother, former First Lady Barbara Bush, offered her own resounding endorsement of DeVos in the Portland Press Herald. Instead, they siphon public tax dollars from traditional neighborhood schools to fund for-profit charters and private schools - thereby speeding up privatization of our public education system.

The Harvard Law professor proposed giving students vouchers to attend any public school they wanted in an attempt to eliminate the current system that often necessitates that students live in a pricey community to attend a good public school.

DeVos has said she will sever "all connections" with her current business if confirmed, as well as resign as the chairman of the investment firm she launched with her husband, the Windquest Group, which has donated heavily to education-related causes that include charter schools and school vouchers. "What Betsy DeVos did in MI is support 30 years of defunding public schools".

$7,039 to support Tim Downing, a Republican who defeated Blanchard Public Schools Superintendent Jim Beckham in the primary and teachers' caucus candidate Liz George, an attorney, in the general election.

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In advance of today's confirmation hearings for Betsy DeVos, the nominee for Secretary of Education, defenders of the status quo have been spinning a narrative about her reform efforts in Detroit that runs contrary to all available evidence. Local teachers union officials said they planning a rally for this Thursday near City Hall.

Ann Duplessis, president of the Louisiana Federation for Children, which is part of DeVos' group, said the nominee "has really dedicated her life, and her money, to working with underserved minority students, kids". "I am confident she will work to place decision-making back where it belongs - in the hands of parents, local leaders and states".

Sen. Al Franken -The Minnesota Democrat has pushed for greater federal protections for LGBT students; look for him to follow up on a letter openly gay members of the House sent last week expressing "deep concern" about DeVos's stance on LGBT students and past DeVos family donations to groups "known for their anti-LGBT activities".

Like many of Mr. Trump's nominees, Ms. DeVos is a fierce critic of the department she has been asked to lead and the prospect of her taking charge has rattled the old guard in Washington.

Both major teachers unions are opposed to DeVos.

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.

Her efforts have been laser-focused on undermining our public schools and, in doing so, have harmed students.

As the Century Foundation recently pointed out, Republicans have a long track record of standing up for the interests of students and taxpayers when it comes to higher education.