MomsRising Leader Urges Senate to Reject DeVos for Education Secretary
January 18, 2017
Statement from Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, CEO and executive director of MomsRising, an online and on-the-ground organization of more than 1 million mothers and their families
“The hearing before the Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor & Pensions) Committee yesterday evening raised very serious concerns about the nomination of Betsy DeVos to serve as U.S. Secretary of Education. As an organization comprised of mothers and other caregivers, we recognize that providing all our children the best possible education is of the utmost importance.
“But DeVos demonstrated little knowledge about public education in this country, little or no commitment to strengthening our schools, and little interest in tackling issues that will help our schools serve all students successfully. In fact, she did nothing at all during the hearing to dispel doubts about her commitment to public education, which arise from the fact that she has spent years trying to steer badly needed tax dollars away from traditional public schools.
“At yesterday’s hearing, DeVos failed to articulate a commitment to strengthening the nation’s education system or real knowledge about the challenges it faces. She could not answer basic questions about education policy and declined to commit to protecting funds for public schools. She also declined to commit to enforcing gun-free zones at schools, to enforcing laws designed to prevent and punish sexual assault on college campuses, and to supporting measures that would help ensure that children with disabilities are well-served by our schools.
“The vast majority of children in this country attend public school. It would be a grave disservice to them – and to families, our economy and our country’s future – for the Senate to confirm Betsy DeVos as United States Secretary of Education. MomsRising members will oppose this nomination and urge the Senate to refuse to confirm her to this post. We need a dedicated champion for public education running the U.S. Department of Education.”