Betsy DeVos, a woman with zero education experience and little to no knowledge of the public school system as a whole was confirmed by the senate today in a historic vote.
The initial vote was 50 – 50 with every single Democratic senator voted against DeVos along with two Republicans.
Vice President Mike Pence had to cast the deciding vote, marking the first time in history a VP had to confirm a presidential appointment.
DeVos’ nomination is a monumental disaster for the future of education in the United States.
“Today, 50 members of the United States Senate voted to confirm Betsy DeVos to be the Secretary of Education. By doing so, they voted to entrust the education of our young people to an ideologue who devoted her philanthropic career to funneling money from public schools that serve all students into private religious schools that serve a select few,” said Larry Decker, the executive director of The Secular Coalition for America. “The American people deserve a Secretary of Education committed to ensuring that all students, of every faith, ability, and sexual orientation, have equal access to public education. Unfortunately, the White House and 50 members of the Senate disagreed.”
“Though we are disappointed in today’s outcome, we are inspired by the countless number of Americans who were not content to sit on the sidelines while the Senate played politics with our nation’s education system. By engaging with their lawmakers, they forced an unprecedented tie in the Senate that required Vice President Pence to intercede, the first time in history that a Vice President was forced to break a tied vote in the Senate on a cabinet nominee. We are especially proud of the Secular Coalition’s supporters, who rose to the occasion by sending thousands of letters and making calls to their Senators. This groundswell of opposition led to the defections of two key Republican Senators who rightly put their duty to their constituents ahead of party-line politics. Today, we recommit ourselves to defending the common sense principle that taxpayer money belongs in schools that provide a secular curriculum and serve all students equally. We’re fighting for what is right and we know the American people are with us.”
Thousands of calls were placed to senators urging them to vote against DeVos who everyone agreed is wholly unqualified to hold such an important decision.
Now that the government has failed to protect our students, in which the Republican Party used as pawns to appease their religious extremist base.
DeVos and Pence both believe the education system should be a place to help spread the Christian religion, they both want evolution out of the science class and they both advocate loudly for taxpayer money to be used to fund private, religious education through a flawed voucher program.
With congress losing the battle to stop DeVos, voters must continue to call their local and federal representatives and fight to ensure that DeVos does not completely destroy the education system and that she keeps religion out of our schools.
These same people must also take to the streets and make their voices heard, attending city council meetings, PTA meetings, and being active to ensure that the schools in their areas and nationwide do not crumble at the hands of the monster DeVos.