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DeVos Confirmed as Education Secretary, Now Free to Destroy Public Schools

The vote to confirm billionaire Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education was split 50-50 this afternoon, leaving the decision up to Vice President Mike Pence, who broke the tie.

by Amanda Arnold
Feb 7 2017, 6:10pm

Below is what happened on Trump's twelfth day in office. You can find out what damage was done every other day so far on the Saddest Calendar on the Internet.

Determined to not only impair the lives of millions of adult Americans (and people around the world) but also those of tiny humans too young to realize they're passing their formative years living under a demagogue, the Trump Administration once again triumphed today with the Senate vote to approve Betsy DeVos, a billionaire who sees school as a place to advance "God's Kingdom," as Secretary of Education.

Last night, Democratic Senators scraped their souls for remnants of that college-finals-week spunk to pull an all-nighter in protest of DeVos, but with the Republicans' hold of Congress, it was clear from the start that the fight would be an uphill battle. There was a glimmer of hope when last week, Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME) came out in opposition to DeVos' confirmation, making them the first Republican senators to disagree with any of Trump's cabinet choices. However, the vote split 50-50 this afternoon, leaving the decision up to Vice President Mike Pence, who broke the tie.

Due to her inability to differentiate growth from proficiency, her belief that grizzlies pose more of a threat to children than the presence of guns in school, her disregard for the health of American public schools—overall, her lack of qualifications to lead a governmental department—DeVos's nomination has been particularly controversial.

Neither DeVos herself nor her four children went to public school. In fact, she's spent years trying to dismantle Michigan's public school system with vouchers and charters, and she didn't explicitly say that she would uphold the 2011 Title IX guidance, which helps fight sexual assault on higher education campuses, during her confirmation hearing.

In an article on the National Education Association website, a third-grade teacher from Michigan, "where DeVos is based and has funded privatization and online learning schemes as well as an effort against a Michigan bill to hold charter schools accountable to taxpayers," weighs in on DeVos's nomination:

"It's hard to imagine a less qualified candidate for secretary of education than Betsy DeVos," says Cheryl Lake. "Her complete lack of public education experience alone is troubling...but worse yet is her decades of work to undermine public education through for-profit charter school and voucher schemes."


That's Bleak. Who's Fighting Against It?

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights spearheaded a letter that opposed DeVos's nomination, which nearly 250 education and civil rights groups signed.

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