OPPOSE DEVOS TODAY!
Betsy DeVos is Trump’s shockingly unqualified candidate for Secretary of Education. She is frighteningly close to being confirmed, and NOW is our last opportunity to defeat her nomination. Read on for specific steps on how to oppose Devos and save public education today.
RECAP: WHY OPPOSE DEVOS?
Her first nomination hearing in January did not go well. First, she was unable to answer basic questions about education policy. For example, she clearly had no clue what IDEA is (it’s a federal civil rights law that requires public schools to provide free and appropriate education to all students with disabilities). This was not a good start.
As the hearing progressed, it became clear that she also had no understanding of the difference between growth and proficiency, a subject of debate within the education community for many years. She also caught everyone off guard when she very seriously made her now-famous suggestion that people should be allowed to bring guns into schools to protect themselves from grizzly bear attacks
If all of the above were not reason enough to oppose DeVos, we also must recognize that she has an enormous potential for financial conflicts of interest. This article details at least 102 such conflicts.
WHERE DO THINGS STAND?
Her senate committee hearing wrapped up yesterday, on January 31st. The committee members ultimately voted along party lines, with the 12 republican senators voting in favor, and the 11 democrats voting against. However, two of the republican senators on the committee voiced reservations and suggested they might oppose DeVos in the final vote (date TBD).
HOW TO OPPOSE DEVOS TODAY
The next and final step is a vote of the full senate, and this is where your emergency action comes into play. The senate has 52 republicans, 46 democrats, and 2 independents who generally caucus with the democrats. If party lines hold, we can expect 48 votes (D + I) against DeVos. In addition, 2 republican senators (Collins – ME, and Murkowski – AK) stated today that they would vote against the DeVos nomination. That brings us to a 50-50 tie vote, which means that Mike Pence will cast the tie-breaker. We call know how that will go. We must ensure that all democrats and independents uphold their votes against her, and we must convince at least one more republican to vote no and oppose DeVos.
WHAT TO DO:
Regardless of whether your senators are republicans or democrats, call and tell them that Betsy DeVos absolutely must not be confirmed as Secretary of Education.
- Find the names and phone numbers for your senators here
- Call during business hours if possible; otherwise leave a voicemail message.
- If needed, use the sample script below.
WHAT TO SAY
Hello. My name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent of [Senator____]. I’m calling because I’m concerned about the nomination of Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary.
It is clear that DeVos has a severe lack of knowledge in America’s public school systems or any viable plan for how to improve them.
In addition, her ideas to privatize school funding have already left the state of Michigan and its children in shambles. Her financial conflicts of interest are also staggering.
Finally, it appears that she plagiarized some of her answers to questions from the Senate HELP committee. A woman who even APPEARS to plagiarize CANNOT be allowed to lead our Department of Education.
I urge [Senator__] to vote “no” and firmly oppose Betsy DeVos for the position of Education Secretary during the upcoming full Senate vote. Thank you for your time.
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