Senator Peters Rips DeVos Appointment To Head Education Department

Calvin SaundersJan 27, 2017

An aide to Alexander, the education committee chair, said the senator "looks forward to supporting her nomination". I know her as the woman who was born wealthy and married wealthier into a barely-legal pyramid scheme known as Amway; I know her as the woman with polo grounds in her backyard even though there is a virtually non-existent polo culture in an area that averages 75 inches of snow each year; I know her as the woman who's married to the guy who was the wealthiest candidate for governor in state history. Before her confirmation hearing began, committee member Joe Lieberman praised DeVos for not being part of what he called the "education establishment". Looking back at the 10 education secretaries nominated by three Republican and three Democratic presidents, the NEA has expressed disappointment with almost every nominee.

Senator Daines has chosen to side with campaign donor, Betsy Devos, over Montana's public school children.

Grover, who served in the Legislature in the '60s and then as superintendent of two school districts before being elected the state's education leader in 1981, has always been a champion of public schools, believing they're the cornerstone of democracy, the place where kids of all races and creeds learn and play together to become productive and caring American citizens as the Founding Fathers envisioned.

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DeVos and her husband are estimated to have a net worth of $5 billion.

The postponement comes after a contentious confirmation hearing for the billionaire Republican donor, which featured heated partisan debate from Senate Democrats. "I'm a product of public schools". Patty Murray (D-WA) asked DeVos, "Can you commit to us that you will not work to privatize public schools...?" The Supreme Court long ago recognized the fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children, but modern public school systems all too often deprive parents of their ability to exercise that right. "This statement betrays the commitment of thousands of public school teachers who work hard every day in our public schools, many in tough working conditions, to ensure our children are educated". But DeVos' approach to programs for students with disabilities - particularly her comments on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act - troubled her.

Ms. DeVos does not support the equal rights of students with disabilities to receive a Free and Appropriate Public Education as outlined in IDEA.

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Despite Democrats pledging to vote against DeVos - including Democratic Senators like Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Chris Murphy of CT - she is expected to be confirmed when the Senate votes on January 31 due to the Republican majority. That is a big deal breaker because, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, approximately 50.4 million students attended a public school in fall 2016 while only 5.2 million attended a private school. The proposal would also give people tax credits for private school tuition.

The National Education Association, the nation's largest labor union, announced Thursday that more than 1 million people have used its online form to voice their opposition to DeVos to their senators. She is unqualified, inexperienced and not in support of public education.

"Nobody argues that the public education system is prefect or can't be improved, and I think that's where the emphasis should be", he added.

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"As someone who has been married to a special education teacher for nearly 50 years and has also served as chairman of the Georgia Board of Education, the education of kids with disabilities has been a passion of mine for decades", Isakson said in a statement.

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