Betsy DeVos is a lobbyist, not an education leader. Her efforts in Michigan have thrown the system into chaos and resulted in no improvement – in some cases a degradation – in quality of education. And, she is a leading proponent of school vouchers for ‘alternative’ schools, many of which are religious in nature, teach controversial ideas like creationism and false views of American history; many are vociferously anti-LGBTQ. Students with special needs are often ill served or left behind entirely.
Lamar Alexander, the Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (acronym is ‘HELP’…funny and sad), denied the request for a 2nd hearing by Democratic committee members. The vote will now be held at 10 a.m. Jan. 31.
There have been reports of so many calls and emails against DeVos to key Republicans that their systems are getting ‘jammed’. We say – keep the pressure on them!
5 Minute Action for TODAY, Friday, 1/27:
Step 1: Call one or more of the Republican senators on the HELP Committee.
If you are not living in their state, we believe it’s ok to call if you have any important connection to the state, for example: family member lives there, you visit and spend money there, organization or other person or entity that is important to you resides there (we know, pretty broad).
Here is a suggested script: “My name is (name) and, as your constituent, I am calling to tell Senator (name) that Betsy DeVos is a horrible choice for Education Secretary. She has NO relevant credentials – she is a lobbyist, not an education leader. She has caused damage to school districts in Michigan, and couldn’t answer the most basic committee questions about public education. To consider such an unqualified candidate for this job is appalling. I call on the Senator to vote ‘NO’ on this disgraceful nomination.”
If you don’t get through, call again – you’re lighting up the switchboard!
Step 2: If you have friends or family in that state, ask them to make the same call TODAY!
Republican members of the HELP Commitee:
Susan Collins (ME): 202.224.2523
Lamar Alexander (TN): 202.224.4944
Lisa Murkowski (AK): 202.224.6665
Johnny Isakson (GA): 202.224.3643
Orrin Hatch (UT): 202.224.5251
Richard Burr (NC): 202.224.3154
Michael Enzi (WY): 202.224.3424
Dr. Bill Cassidy (LA): 202.224.5824
Pat Roberts (KS): 202.224.4774
Tim Scott (SC): 202.224.6121
Rand Paul (KY): 202.224.4343
Todd Young (IN): 202.224.5623
Step 3: Sign this AU (Americans United for Separation of Church and State) petition to say ‘NO’ to school vouchers (click here: take action). You don’t need to donate to sign, and you can opt out of future mailings by unchecking the boxes at the bottom of the petition.
Step 4: (optional, we’re at our 5 minute time limit!) Share the love. Post to Facebook a couple lines about a public school teacher who made a difference in your life. Something like: “Thank you to my 10th grade English teacher in Stillwater, Oklahoma, who taught me the wonder of really good books…and how to conjugate a sentence! NO on DeVos!!”
Thank you from the TrumpResistance.TODAY team
(and see you again tomorrow!)
For more information about DeVos’s record in Michigan and implications for the U.S., see: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2016/12/08/a-sobering-look-at-what-betsy-devos-did-to-education-in-michigan-and-what-she-might-do-as-secretary-of-education/?utm_term=.343cfac6e031
For more information about the issues associated with school vouchers, see: https://www.au.org/blogs/wall-of-separation/the-false-promise-of-school-choice-week