This is it folks, this is our time. This is not a drill. I wish it was. The Senate Confirmation Hearings for Trump’s Cabinet nominees start this week. Including Betsy DeVos and Jeff Sessions. Yes, there are others, but these are the two that in my opinion, have made the most repugnant comments about disabilities and special education.
For years, some education advocates warned about Common Core. And every day parents….meh. We sat around, thought it wouldn’t happen. And it happened.
Then, advocates warned that Medicaid for disabled children was going to start to disappear in some states…..and it is. Children in states like Texas and Kansas are beginning to lose much needed services.
I cannot stress this enough. We can no longer sit back and wait for others to act or just hope that things are going to work themselves out. They aren’t.
We saw on Tuesday the 3rd how important our calls are. We actually got the House to backpedal on a horrible piece of legislation.
Now we have to do this.
At best, she has tremendous conflicts of interest. Not the least of which is that she donated $10mm to Trump’s campaign. She has openly admitted (in the media) that she does expect things in return for her donations–and she got a big prize for her last investment–America’s public schools. That doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface though, as far as her lack of experience. She, her kids, have never attended nor worked in a public school. Never.
If DeVos and company get the opportunity to do what they want to do–which is get their hands on public money for their own private interests, where do you think they are going to take from first? My guess is special education. So I will share the information from Education Voters on the hearing. See below.
Our most immediate concern is the January 11th confirmation hearing before the US Senate for Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, billionaire lobbyist and school privatizer Betsy DeVos.
DeVos is patently unqualified to guide the nation’s schools. She has no experience in public schools as a teacher, parent, or leader. Instead, DeVos has spent her career and millions of dollars from her family fortune supporting candidates and lobbying lawmakers throughout the United States to support school vouchers, tax credits for corporations that provide scholarships to private schools, and the expansion and deregulation of charter schools.
The Notebook reports that, “DeVos is both responsible for authoring pro-privatization legislation and funding the campaigns of local politicians who present that legislation in their own states, and whose committees pass it through the state legislature.”
Right here in Pennsylvania, DeVos started a pro-privatization super PAC, Students First PA, which has contributed millions to fund pro-school privatization candidates in the PA legislature.
You can also use that information to reach your own Senators, or call this number: 202-224-3121. That number is super easy to use–put it in your phone. Then it will just ask you your zip code and automatically connect you to your legislators’ offices.
In a constituent letter dated December 2, 2016, Senator Toomey stated: “I believe she is a great pick.” He needs to know that many PA voters strongly disagree with his position.
Senator Casey is a member of the Senate Health, Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee that will be holding the confirmation hearings.
When you receive responses from Senators Toomey and Casey, please feel free to email them to me so that we can keep track of their positions.
As always, thank you very much for your support of PA’s public school students.
PS: For an inspiring story about how phone calls and public pressure make a difference, read this article about how House efforts to gut the ethics panel were abandoned after lawmakers’ offices were flooded with phone calls.