After the DeVos Vote: the Fight for Public Education Continues
Yesterday the Senate voted 50-50, with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote, to confirm Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos as the 11th U.S. Secretary of Education. The vote—which followed an overnight session of protest and some support of DeVos—marked the first time in history a vice president has been called upon to break a tie on a presidential nomination. The historic vote also followed a widely publicized groundswell of grassroots opposition to the nomination, citing among other issues, DeVos’s lack of experience, support of privatization and unfamiliarity with education policy and practice.
At the Schott Foundation we were clear that DeVos is dangerously unqualified for such an important position governing our nation’s public schools.
Following yesterday’s confirmation, our grantees and allies in education justice are speaking loud and clear: the fight for public education and equity in opportunity for all students continues.
The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, of which Schott is a member, released a call to join the resistance:
Starting today, the resistance must dig in and expand.We will not let this Administration continue to fail public schools—particularly in Black and Brown communities—by starving them of the resources they need to be successful.We will not allow this Administration to divert public dollars to charters and private schools, defunding the public schools that majorities of children rely on.We will not allow students to be attacked, bullied, or targeted in any way for the color of their skin or their country of origin. We will resist practices that push children out of schools and in to the criminal justice system.We are united as students, educators, parents and communities. We will be ready to resist, when President Trump and Betsy DeVos try to take away our schools. Read more >
New York-based Alliance for Quality Education made it clear it would not allow Governor Cuomo to join DeVos in attacking public schools:
“Betsy DeVos is a disastrous choice that spurred massive public resistance to her nomination. In New York State it is time for resistance to focus on Governor Cuomo who, like DeVos and Trump, is proposing massive attacks on public education. Just like DeVos and Trump, Governor Cuomo wants to cut funding commitments for our neediest students and to privatize schools,” said Zakiyah Ansari, Advocacy Director of the Alliance for Quality Education.“Governor Cuomo wants to repeal the state’s $4.3 billion commitment to increase funding for schools that are filled with black and brown students and students in poverty. This funding is owed as a result of the landmark Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit. Just as New Yorkers have been leaders in the fight to resist Trump and dump DeVos, we will now fight back against Cuomo and his attacks on public education.” Read more >
The Annenberg Institute for School Reform collected advice and inspiration from education experts and organizers:
In response to the Senate vote to confirm Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, we wanted to share some wordsAfter the DeVos Vote: the Fight for Public Education Continues | Schott Foundation for Public Education: