Pictured: Betsy DeVos at her Senate committee Confirmation Hearing
Photo Credit: senate.gov
On January 31, the Senate Committee on Health, Labor, Education and Pensions voted on President Trump’s Secretary of Education nominee, Betsy DeVos, allowing her to go to a full Senate vote with a 12-11 vote.
DeVos’s nomination has been up in the air for a while now, with Democrats attempting to block her from being confirmed by the Senate due to what they call a lack of experience. These worries were only magnified after DeVos’s Senate confirmation hearing, where she failed to answer basic questions about the job she was nominated for. Now her nomination hangs in jeopardy, as two Republican Senators have come forward saying that they will vote against DeVos’s nomination.
As a student in the public education system, the prospect of DeVos possibly being our next Secretary of Education scares me. DeVos has never had any experience with the public education system in any way, shape, or form. She not only attended Private Schools growing up, but sent her children to them as well, putting her completely out of touch with the needs of the public education system.
DeVos’s main fight for the past twenty years has been school choice. She has stated in the past that she wants every student to have what she refers to as “Educational choice”. This refers to what is essentially the privatization of education. DeVos’s plans would create school voucher programs, which would allow students to choose where they want to go to school, be it public, private, or charter. However, this would in turn rip funding away from the public school system and have it be reallocated to private and religious schools. This would be an absolute disaster for the the public education system, as many school districts are already struggling to meet the needs of students.
Another point of concern with DeVos’s nomination among Democrats is her Billionaire status and her previous donations to the Republican party, which according to DeVos amounts to somewhere around $200 million. Some Democrats believe that President Trump possibly only nominated DeVos due to these previous donations. This has obviously caused a great amount of concern within the Senate, as many Senators see DeVos as a highly unqualified nominee with financial influence among the Republican Party.
Currently, with all Senate Democrats and two Senate Republicans planning to vote against DeVos’s nomination, the vote would be tied at 50-50 if it were held today. The official Senate vote doesn’t have a set date yet, which Senators opposed to DeVos’s nomination plan to use to their advantage. If just one more Senator flips their vote, DeVos’s nomination will be rejected, dismissing one of the most unqualified presidential appointees in modern history.