DeVos nomination moves to Senate: NPE's 300,000 will continue to fight
Although disappointed by the decision of the HELP committee to send the vote on Betsy DeVos to the Senate floor, The Network for Public Education (NPE) was pleased by the strong opposition to DeVos. All Democrats voted against DeVos. Senators Collins of Maine and Murkowski of Alaska while voting to move her nomination forward, would not commit to voting for her when the vote comes to the full Senate.
“Betsy DeVos put a spotlight on the threat to public education that charters-both online and brick and mortar, and private voucher schools pose to our democratically governed, community public schools. Public school advocates across the nation spoke out. Our campaign against DeVos generated over 600,000 emails and thousands of phone calls and letters to the Senate. Most Americans do not want an unregulated, privatized school system paid for by American taxpayers. That is what DeVos represents,” said NPE Executive Director, Carol Burris.
NPE President, Diane Ravitch, believes the massive political donations by DeVos was the driving factor behind her appointment. “We are disappointed but not surprised that Betsy DeVos was approved by the Senate HELP committee, despite the fact that she is completely unqualified for the job by experience or knowledge or any other criteria. As she has acknowledged, she and her family have given millions of dollars to the Republican party, including to members of the committee that just approved her. We weep for the children of America, knowing that this woman will launch an assault on their community public schools, as she did in Michigan. Since her choice theology was implemented in Michigan, that state’s rankings on national tests have plummeted, and Detroit–now flooded with charters–remains the lowest performing urban district on national tests. We will continue to fight this nomination as it moves forward.“
NPE Executive Board member, Phyllis Bush, lives in Indiana, a state the embraces the DeVos philosophy. “While the members of the HELP committee can talk about the importance of using a business model to reform public schools, the ultimate cost to Indiana is landing on the backs of students. Privatization reform has resulted in larger class sizes, tests that provide little useful information, school letter grades that reward zip codes, the elimination of essential services in public schools, and a critical teacher shortage.”
The Network for Public Education intends to mobilize its over 300,000 supporting members to continue the fight against DeVos’ appointment.
“When it comes to our fight for adequately funded, democratically-governed public schools, we make ‘no excuses’.” Our neighborhood schools made our country great. We will not allow them to be destroyed,” Burris said.
About the Network for Public Education
The Network for Public Education (NPE) was founded in 2013 by Diane Ravitch and Anthony Cody. We are an advocacy group whose mission is to protect, preserve, promote, and strengthen public schools for both current and future generations of students. NPE has over 300,000 supporting members nationwide. For more information, please visit: networkforpubliceducation.org.