After a historic tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence, Betsy DeVos has been officially confirmed as the new Secretary of Education. The outcome has rattled Americans all over the country and has resulted in outbursts on various social media and news platforms.
The New York Times wrote about DeVos’s victory saying:
“The 51-to-50 vote elevates Ms. DeVos — a wealthy donor from Michigan who has devoted much of her life to expanding educational choice through charter schools and vouchers, but has limited experience with the public school system — to be steward of the nation’s schools.”
Despite two republicans voting against DeVos, the votes turned out to be tied requiring the Vice President to vote. This marks the first time that a Vice President has been taken to the Capitol to break a tie on a cabinet nominee. His decision was with President Trump and therefore voted in DeVos.
The two republicans that voted against DeVos were Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. Their stance was in part due to the belief that DeVos doesn’t have the needed experience or familiarity with public schools. They also said they were influenced by numerous letters begging them to reject DeVos’s nomination.
The New York Times addressed the issue of DeVos’s lack of skills saying:
“For many in the education community, Ms. DeVos’s full-throated support for charter schools and vouchers — which allow students to use taxpayer dollars to pay tuition at private, religious and for-profit schools — is emblematic of a disconnection from the realities of the education system. Neither Ms. DeVos nor any of her children attended a public school. And she has never taken out a federal student loan, which is striking when considering she will head a department that is the country’s largest provider of student loans.”
After her nomination, many who opposed her issued statements regarding the decision. One who opposed her win was the president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten. The president’s statement about DeVos said they would now have to be a “check and balance” for her decisions. She continued on to say:
“It’s telling that even when Trump had full control of the legislative and executive branches, he could only get DeVos confirmed by an unprecedented TIE BREAKING vote by his vice president… That’s because DeVos shows an antipathy for public schools, a full-throttled embrace of private, for-profit alternatives, and a lack of basic understanding of what children need to succeed in school.”
While some of her opposition plans to simply keep her in check, others are still planning to fight her. “Some vowed to demonstrate at her public appearances at forums and schools and to seek public candidates friendly to their view to run for local office,” the New York Times reported.
It’s clear that while Ms. DeVos does have much experience, the majority of that is not in her upcoming role. Do you think she can learn her new job quick enough to be effective? Let us know in the comments below!
Source: New York Times