FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, January 12, 2017
To protect the students, the communities and the educational workers of California, the California Federation of Teachers opposes the nomination of Betsy DeVos to be the U.S. Secretary of Education.
Fifty million students attend America’s public schools, over six million in California alone. They need and deserve a leader committed to supporting and improving their education. Instead, Donald Trump has nominated a billionaire who has spent her considerable money and time to undermine and destroy public education.
DeVos has never taught or volunteered in a public school, or been elected to a school board. DeVos has never served in any elected or appointed capacity overseeing public education at any level. Neither DeVos nor her children have even attended a public school.
What DeVos has done is advocated for school vouchers as a means to defund already underfunded schools. She bankrolled a failed voucher ballot initiative in Michigan. After that defeat by the voters, she shifted her strategy to promoting for-profit charter schools. Today charter schools in Michigan rank among the lowest achieving schools in the country.
She herself noted that, “My family is the single biggest contributor to the Republican National Committee. We expect a return on our investment.”
The American people do not wish to see public education led by someone without any qualifications except the ability to “pay to play.” California’s students, like their counterparts across the country, need a strong public education system to enable them to become active participants in our democracy and society. Without public education, the only students who will receive a quality education will be wealthy one percenters like DeVos.
Betsy DeVos is the least qualified nominee ever to be put forward for the position of Secretary of Education. We call upon the U.S. Senate to reject a nominee who actively opposes the framework and foundation of our public education system.
The California Federation of Teachers represents 120,000 faculty and school employees in public and private schools and colleges, from early childhood through higher education. It is the statewide affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers. More info: www.cft.org.