National Urban League on Betsy DeVos Senate Confirmation Vote

February 07 2017

WASHINGTON, DC (February 7, 2017) – National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial released the following statement today on the Senate’s confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education:

“From the beginning of the confirmation process, the National Urban League was deeply concerned with the nomination of Betsy DeVos as the next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education because of her record of promoting educational policies that are inconsistent with civil rights and conflicts with the National Urban League’s long-held commitment to prioritizing educational equity.

“Among our concerns were Ms. DeVos’ history of support for school privatization, conflicts of interest with her venture capital investments, and her overall lack of experience with the public school system and communities of color.  Ms. DeVos expressed her intentions to ‘rein in’ the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) at the Department of Education, which is responsible for enforcement of civil rights law and maintaining the civil rights data collection portal that provides data on school disparities, including school discipline and resource equity.  Additionally, we were troubled by Ms. DeVos and her family’s financial support of causes that are medically shown to harm LGBTQ individuals.

“After reviewing Ms. DeVos’ responses during her hearing, the National Urban League simply could not support her nomination as one of the most important cabinet positions of any administration.

“Now confirmed as Secretary of Education, we sincerely hope that Ms. DeVos will put aside her personal and political beliefs to act as this nation’s biggest champion of public education—a requirement of the position she will hold.

“Students deserve a Secretary of Education that is fully committed to their advancement.  We hope to work with Ms. DeVos in her new role to ensure all education programs and policies promulgated by the U.S. Department of Education furthers equity, excellence and civil rights for all students.”

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 Kezmiché “Kim” Atterbury | katterbury@nul.org | (202) 629-5750