People For the American Way

Future of Public Education on the Line in Upcoming DeVos Vote

News and Analysis

Earlier today, the nomination of Betsy DeVos to become secretary of education of the United States cleared its final procedural hurdle on the way to a final vote. But the vote expected Tuesday will be anything but routine. After a tumultuous week in which Senators Collins and Murkowski announced their opposition to DeVos, the future of public education is facing a 50-50 tie in the Senate and a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Pence.

In its editorial against DeVos, The New York Times declared that her nomination is “about blowing up the system without a clue as to what comes next.”

That’s not hyperbole. Years of People For the American Way coverage of the DeVos family have shown not only their unmistakable effort to divert public education funds into religious schools, but also their role as policy power players guiding the whole of the far right agenda. Considering that mountain of evidence alongside her shameful performance before the Senate HELP Committee—refusing to agree that schools are no place for guns and that public funds bring with them public accountability; expressing confusion about such fundamental education issues as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the long-standing debate over test scores—it’s clear that Betsy DeVos is unfit to serve as our education secretary.

The Senate has been overwhelmed by activists trying to stop DeVos and other members of Trump’s dangerous team—so much so that many of you have found it hard, if not impossible, to get through to your senators. It’s frustrating when this happens, but know that this means it’s working. Please keep it up. Over the next few days it’s critical that they hear from you loud and clear.

Call your senators now using this number (888-623-4558) and tell them that we cannot leave public education in the hands of Vice President Pence or Betsy DeVos.