DeVos confirmed after vice president makes history and casts vote

Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’’s choice for education secretary, was confirmed today in a historic vote. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)

It took the historic intervention of the vice president to break a tie in the Senate, but Betsy DeVos is now U.S. secretary of education. Mike Pence’s tie-breaking ballot this afternoon marks the first time in U.S. history that a vice president was called upon to vote in a cabinet appointment.

The 51-50 vote leaves the Michigan billionaire and mega GOP donor with a challenging start to her tenure leading the 4,400-employee U.S. Department of Education with its $68 billion budget.

Both Georgia senators endorsed DeVos.

“I appreciate her commitment to parents’ roles in education and school choice, as well as her statement of strong support for ensuring that kids with special needs get a personalized education plan. I also pledge to work with Mrs. DeVos in her new position to ensure the rights of all students are looked after moving forward,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia.

Georgia GOP Sen. David Perdue said, “Both of my parents were school teachers and education is something very dear to me. Parents, teachers, administrators, and students all know that one-size-fits-all Washington education standards are not working and it is time to return control back to states and communities. Betsy DeVos shares these same beliefs. She has championed school choice and, as evidenced by her years of involvement, will work tirelessly to improve our education system. I was proud to support Betsy DeVos’ nomination and look forward to working with her to help all students succeed.”

Among those issuing statements about her confirmation was her predecessor, John B. King Jr, incoming president and CEO of the Education Trust:

Throughout the confirmation process, the Education Trust expressed concerns about Betsy DeVos’ commitment to fully embracing public education and to using the full range of tools at the Secretary’s disposal to protect and advance opportunity and achievement for low-income students, students of color, English learners, and students with disabilities. Those concerns remain.

And the Ed Trust is not alone. During the confirmation process, I was encouraged by the large numbers of students, parents, educators, community leaders, and civil rights advocates insisting that the federal role in education must be to strengthen public education — not abandon it — and to protect students’ civil rights. Indeed, Americans clearly care deeply about education and have real concerns about who will lead the nation’s education department. As the former Secretary of Education, I sincerely hope that Ms. DeVos will work hard to prove these concerns wrong and will lead the Department in a manner that protects fundamental civil rights and promotes opportunity and achievement for all students.”

Here are an array of reactions.

DeKalb Superintendent Steve Green:

We invite Secretary DeVos to join us at a point of common understanding for DeKalb public schools and public schools everywhere: The true mission of education should be providing every student – gifted, mentally challenged, expatriated, or burdened by distracting socioeconomic or family needs – with the foundational elements to succeed.

For kids to succeed, we must shift from politics to problem-solving. We invite Secretary DeVos to become our partner in finding ways to give public schools what they truly need to succeed. It’s time to bring together resources … and resourceful collaboration … to support socioeconomic improvements that boost schools and students.

Former Louisiana Gov.  Bobby Jindal:

I’m proud of Betsy DeVos and the Republican Senators who voted to confirm her today to be our next Secretary of Education. The union bosses in the teachers’ unions threw everything including the kitchen sink at Betsy because they understand all too well that she won’t tolerate their excuses for the failed status quo in American education. The sad truth is that far too many kids are trapped in failing public schools that are relegating them to second class status. Betsy DeVos will provide the strong leadership to break the monopoly unions hold over our K-12 schools.  This is a great day for the conservative education reform movement and the parents of at-risk children who are desperately seeking better schools for their kids.

Wade Henderson, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights:

Betsy DeVos has never been a student, parent, supporter, or employee in a public school or school system in any capacity, and yet she is now tasked with ensuring our nation’s children have equal access to a quality education.  The fact that her confirmation vote was the first in American history to require a tie breaking vote by the Vice President speaks to the widespread concern about her qualifications raised by the civil rights community, concerned parents and educators from across the country.

We applaud all Senate Democrats and Republican Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski for putting a commitment to enforcing our education and civil rights laws above party politics.

The Department of Education has a legal obligation to protect the civil rights of all students, and we, along with our coalition partners, will be watching to ensure that Secretary DeVos fulfills that responsibility

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush:

I congratulate Betsy DeVos on her confirmation as our nation’s next Secretary of Education. The President made an excellent choice to lead the Department of Education.

Millions of families share Secretary DeVos’s vision for disrupting a failed status quo that has denied too many children access to a quality education.  It’s time to upend the entrenched special interests that put adults above genuine reforms that will raise student achievement.

I hope the senators who opposed Secretary DeVos’s nomination will now put aside the tired arguments of the unions and come together to prioritize the needs of students.

Sid Chapman, president of the Georgia Association of Educators:

Georgians joined many Americans to drive a bipartisan rejection of DeVos’ ideas for students and public education. No other Trump cabinet nominee garnered the level of unprecedented public opposition as DeVos. This was underscored by Vice President Pence having to step in to cast the deciding vote for her nomination.

The hundreds of thunderous rallies across the country including Georgia,  the flood of phone calls, and the deluge of millions of emails in opposition to the DeVos’ nomination we believe denies the Trump administration a mandate to take over our public schools.

Students, educators, parents, civil rights workers, and special education advocates— here in Georgia and across America—will continue to speak loud and clear that we are here to stay and that we will protect public education.

Georgians and Americans have made it clear that DeVos needs to listen to the people because every single child deserves a great public school.  GAE will closely watch what DeVos does. And we will work to hold her accountable for the actions and decisions she makes on behalf of the more than 1.7 million students in Georgia’s public schools.

 

 

Reader Comments 0

119 comments
gagata
gagata

Let's hear from Cory Booker:    I cannot ever stand up and stand against a parent having options, because I benefited from my parents having options. And when people tell me they’re against school choice, whether it’s the Opportunity Scholarship Act or charter schools, I look at them and say: “As soon as you’re telling me you’re willing to send your kid to a failing school in my city [Newark, N.J.], or in Camden or Trenton, then I’ll be with you.” . . . I’m going to be out there fighting for my president, but he does not send his kids to Washington, D.C., public schools. I got a governor in the statehouse, he does not send his kids to Trenton public schools. I could go all the way down to city council people in Newark, that do not send their kids—so what have we created? A system that if you’re connected, elected, have wealth and privilege, you get freedom in this country? And now you want to deny that to my community? No. I am going to fight for the freedom and the liberty and the choice and the options of my people, in the same way you will defend that right for yourself.om Cory Booker:


class80olddog
class80olddog


So if I hear people on here correctly, if Betsy DeVos had attended public school, had taught public school, and had extensive experience in public school matters, but still advocated for charters and vouchers, they would have supported her 100%.  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  That is the best laugh I have had in quite a while.


class80olddog
class80olddog

You would think that heroin addiction would be a self-correcting problem.

class80olddog
class80olddog

From Edweek: "Charter schools are more popular among Republicans with 74 percent supporting the publicly funded schools that are run independently from the traditional district system, compared to 58 percent of Democrats—numbers that have changed little over the last decade, according to Education Next, a journal published by Stanford University's Hoover Institution."  - also - "Universal vouchers, or vouchers for all students regardless of income, are also more popular among a growing number of Democrats, having risen from 49 percent in support in 2013 to 56 percent in 2016." - These two ideals characterize Betsy DeVos - so why are certain segments of the liberals so against her?  It sounds like even Democrats support Charter Schools and Vouchers.  Maybe it is just TEACHERS (and administrators) who are so scared of her.  They might have to COMPETE.


class80olddog
class80olddog

Choice - as AvgGeorgian points out, there are several classes who already have choice - rich people can pay to send their kids to private schools.  Upper middle class parents can move to a good school district (that is what we always did).  The only people who have no choice but traditional public school are the lower middle class and the poor.  So those are the ones you want to deny the choice option to. Charter schools (start-up charters) MIGHT give a better education to those who choose them.  They will only be successful if they address discipline, attendance, and social promotion.  They, along with traditional schools, should be fully accountable for the money that they spend.  If parents do not like them, they choose to go back to the traditional schools and the charter should close. 

day off
day off

Have a wonderful and productive first day on the job, Madam Secretary!

joyofo
joyofo

what Monica replied I am amazed that a mother can earn $5999 in one month on the internet. 

hop over to here>>>>>>>http://bit.do/red-me>>>>

Milo
Milo

If anyone would know 'unqualified', it would be educators. 

carterjoseph1950
carterjoseph1950

Ironic that the only time in our history that a tie-breaking vote has been cast by the VP was for someone completely unfit and unqualifed for the office that she now holds. If DeVos were someone worth defending it would be different. Such small people.

Stephanie Moulton
Stephanie Moulton

What I want to know is how many parents/teachers join their local PTO/PTA's AND participate, go to meetings, volunteer. If it's like our school, not a lot and we have a great school! We can't even get a quorum of ONLY 25 members to do business (and we hold meetings both at night & during the day). It wouldn't matter who the Secretary of Ed is if everybody in the community would support their local school & their teachers. We wouldn't even need damn funding from the Feds or school vouchers. Every school would be great! So sick of this discussion! Instead of protesting & whining on Facebook about something you can't change, go into your local school tomorrow morning & ask what you can do to help!

Tom Stuart
Tom Stuart

Or even have children of school age

Dede Skrip
Dede Skrip

Well said Stephanie! I would bet most of the complainers have not spent much time in their children's schools anyway!

#SoreLosers
#SoreLosers

Perpetual outrage is a tactic which isn't serving the left very well, as the November election and today's Senate vote indicate. 

No doubt, every advancement Secretary of Education DeVos enacts on behalf of education will be indignantly resisted by Democrats. That already seems their set MO for the new Congress.

But in the end won't they just marginalize themselves as extremists defending a failed status quo?

E Pluribus Unum
E Pluribus Unum

@#SoreLosers If the left has perpetual outrage,

                   they learned that it might work

                     from the perpetual outrage from

                     some members of Congress who

                     took over 58 votes on repealing

                     the Affordable Care Act. Some 

                     people will be prone to try tactics

                      that they think will work especially

                      if some of  the opposing political

                      party members  have demonstrated

                      that obstruction rather than compromise

                      works (The political  system was set up

                      to accommodate compromise, but

                      unfortunately being moderate is not

                      always appreciated on both political

                      sides.) .

E Pluribus Unum
E Pluribus Unum

@Starik @E Pluribus Unum @#SoreLosers


I expected that she would be confirmed, and I expect that

any attempt that critically

damages the viability of public education for all students will

have vigorous opposition. The educational policy and law 

concerning public education is 

the focus of concern. I expect

that she ( Secretary DeVos) will

try to do what she stated, and that

where that conflicts with a viable

public education for all students,

the political system will be utilized

accordingly to present an alternative.




E Pluribus Unum
E Pluribus Unum

@#SoreLosers @E Pluribus Unum


I do not think most Democrats despise Middle America, but maybe a few high profile individuals allowed inflammatory language to give that impression to you. What

beliefs and values do you believe are exclusive to the Midwest, or to a political party ? 







RoadScholar
RoadScholar

@#SoreLosers @E Pluribus Unum If that "despising" is based on being hired to do a job that she has no experience in doing, then yes. Maybe I can be your doctor the next time you need surgery or a colonoscopy! Don't worry.....you'lll still be "sore"!

class80olddog
class80olddog

@E Pluribus Unum @#SoreLosers  One belief and value is that jobs for American coal miners are more important than regulating a non-pollutant that may or may not cause possible negative side effects, while other countries in the world can deforest and emit as much CO2 as they want.  Another belief and value is that the safety of Americans from terrorist acts is more important that taking people from Syria into our country when they can be helped at their own border.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

To Milo and others:

The truth is that the Democratic Party has always been the party of the masses of Americans, from working class to middle class to upper middle class and the poor.

The Republican Party has always centered upon sustaining the wealth of the top 10% of the wealthiest people in America but they have used propaganda to sell the falsehood that they cared about middle Americans in order to acquire more votes. Come back to the Democratic Party which will put the interests of the common man and woman first, of all races.

Daryl Smith O'Hare
Daryl Smith O'Hare

When children officially turn into commodities to be traded in the stock market. Thanks America.

class80olddog
class80olddog

The current traditional schools do not care about the children's education - they are only trying to preserve their flow of money.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

Can anyone please point me to a thoughtful pro Trump, Pro Devoss, "conservative" who possesses a modicum of logic, reads at least a few articles not written by Fox or Breitbart, and is pursuing a better understanding of the issues for the purpose of helping our entire country?


Trying to engage the "conservative" posters on these blogs is like arguing with toddlers.


Debby Gouge Wood
Debby Gouge Wood

Sad, sad day for our country. I will fight to be a voice for our children until the day I die.

Milo
Milo

Pissing into the wind. 

Astropig
Astropig

I simply love watching those tears flow from the regulars.Can't get enough of it.Now your side knows what it feels like to be shut out of policy making.Remember this feeling.


Time for you to "reach across the aisle". The decision's been made.She's confirmed.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@Astropig

You say nothing and add nothing. You don't know or talk policy, logic, or effects. I continue to search in vain for conservatives who can engage rationally on political issues. Kyle is about the only one although he is limited in his discourse due to his job description.


AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

Attention all posters - do not fall for the "choice" trap. An educated citizenry is a public good and benefit to all taxpayers and all taxpayers. 

Parents of school aged children are not some elite class that gets to choose how to spend all taxpayers' money. Don't fall for the school choice garbage. School choicers are just greedy and want other people to pay for choices they can't afford.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@Astropig @AvgGeorgian 


Your link went to a conservative pro school privatization fake poll with no methodology or verification of results.


You might as well have said The Federation for Teachers talked to god and he said Betsy Devoss is his pick for SecEd and Trump is a saint.


I call it stupid (ignorant with no intellectual curiosity).

Astropig
Astropig

@AvgGeorgian @Astropig


Not spelling her name right for the last couple of weeks doesn't exactly make you look like another Einstein,bub.


Just sayin'.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

Hello Eduktr - that was the previous name of many of the names you've seen below - exact same anti union and "educrat" posts over and over. 


I shall call you Anti-Union or AU. AU, why do you love billionaires with no educational expertise or knowledge but hate worker unions and associations? Are you paid to post under your many names?

#Constitutionalist
#Constitutionalist

One certainly has to admire Secretary DeVos for weathering the vicious abuse any reformer is assured of in taking on the unions and educrats.

Her reward will be delivered years from now from grateful former children.

day off
day off

@#Constitutionalist 

Was the hateful rhetoric hurled at DeVos even more spiteful because she's a woman? I for one think so.

historydawg
historydawg

@day off @historydawg @#Constitutionalist Sen Franken questioned Devos on substance. Cspan can help you out. You will not find any comment or reference or implication of gender. Please turn to Fox for that. Do you know what patriarchy means? I get that Sen Franken is the bad guy from your position, but you have not provided evidence.

historydawg
historydawg

@day off @historydawg @#Constitutionalist This is not an argument. But since we are not into logic...I assume you are not a feminist--one who believes in the equality of men and women. Proud to expose patriarchy to my history students from 8000 BCE to the present. Daily. Devos was attacked because of her resume, her conflicts of interest, her inability to answer questions, and her war on public schools, which she now leads. This charge is without merit. 

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@day off @historydawg @#Constitutionalist I am a woman, and so are most of my fellow teachers.  The majority of us find DeVos completely unqualified. It has NOTHING to do with her being a women and little to do with her party affiliation (We are politically mixed).  It has to do with the fact she knows NOTHING about public education or the laws that govern public education.  She has little to no regard for those of us who work in public education.  I wonder how much you would support someone who came out and proclaimed, in a generalized statement, that the career and service you have dedicated your life to "sucks".

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

LOL!  I am not in a union - I am in a classroom and I actually spend close to 60 hours a week working to "educate" children.  How much time do YOU put in?

historydawg
historydawg

@#Constitutionalist Many Georgians opposed Devos and her inability to understand basic knowledge of education and education law. None of those were in a union. This fox news narrative is tiresome and false.

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@#SoreLosers @day off @#Constitutionalist Yeah, sexism by those questioning her credentials and pointing out that she wasn't completely forthcoming during her original testimony is way more likely that all those male senators voting in favor because she contributed thousands of dollars to their campaigns....


Wonder why those female senators spoke out against her...and why the two republican senators who voted against her were women?  Guess they didn't get the memo that she was a "sistah".

Astropig
Astropig

@day off @#Constitutionalist


"Was the hateful rhetoric hurled at DeVos even more spiteful because she's a woman? I for one think so."


I'm going to take a crack at this one: It was more spiteful because she's a white woman that has accomplished much outside of government and she has a lot more money than her detractors.


That's just a hard truth.Just read the bile and hatred spewing here-these people are just jealous that they can't get a better job than 4th grade teacher.I'd probably be bitter too,if I were them.

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@Astropig @day off @#Constitutionalist


When one cannot come up with factual counterarguments or logical debate points, one resorts to personal insults...


DeVos was born into money and married into more money.  That goes a long way towards helping one "accomplish" a lot in life.