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rgbecker

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Member since: Mon Oct 2, 2006, 10:23 PM
Number of posts: 4,479

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My Senator Markey (Mass.) will vote against DeVos.

Here's his response to my email asking him to oppose DeVos.

EDWARD J. MARKEY
MASSACHUSETTS



218 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING
WASHINGTON, DC 20510
(202) 224-2742



United States Senate



January 31, 2017




Dear Roger:



Thank you for contacting me about the nomination of Betsy DeVos to be Secretary of Education. I appreciate hearing from you on this important matter.

I am deeply concerned about President Trump's nomination of Betsy DeVos. DeVos has spent her career promoting policies that divert students and resources away from public schools. Through her powerful lobbying group, the Great Lakes Education Project, DeVos has advocated for voucher programs that would use taxpayer dollars to pay for private school tuition and supported the expansion and deregulation of charter schools, regardless of the school's performance.

I also have serious doubts about DeVos' qualifications to be Secretary of Education. She has never been a public school teacher, worked in a school as an administrator, or even attended public school herself. Yet as Secretary, DeVos would be in charge of the department that oversees more than 50 million public elementary and secondary school students. American students and families need a Secretary of Education who will fight for public education and fully fund the programs and initiatives that help students succeed, not someone who views public education as an industry and prioritizes the profits and privatization of education.

DeVos was also in charge of the All Children Matter Political Action Committee (PAC) in 2008 when it violated federal and state campaign finance laws. The PAC was fined $5.3 million for breaking the law, but instead of paying the penalty, the group halted operations and disbanded. In December 2016, I joined Senators Udall, Brown, Merkley, and Sanders in two letters calling for DeVos to ensure that the PAC for which she was responsible pays the millions of dollars in fines and late fees it owes to the state of Ohio. We believe that DeVos must ensure that all payments are made before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), and the full Senate, vote on her nomination.

The doubts I had about this nomination were reinforced when DeVos testified before the Senate HELP committee. She was unprepared to share her beliefs on measurements of student proficiency-versus-growth standards, a central piece of elementary and secondary education policy that has been discussed for years. She was confused when answering a question about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which allows students access to appropriate and effective public education in all states. DeVos was unwilling to commit to continuing the Obama Administration's regulations and practices for combating sexual assault on college campuses. And perhaps most troubling, she refused to say that guns have no place in schools and suggested that it was an issue that should be left up to the states.

I believe that all children deserve access to a quality public education regardless of their household income, race, ethnicity, neighborhood, or disability status. I believe that the Secretary of Education should fight for all students and families across America. I have serious concerns that Betsy DeVos does not share these beliefs, and I have numerous concerns about her qualifications to serve as Secretary of Education. I therefore am opposed to her nomination.

Thank you again for contacting me about this issue. If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me. To sign up for my newsletter, visit http://www.markey.senate.gov/newsletter. You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.



Sincerely,


Signature

Edward J. Markey
United States Senator

Did anyone else catch Roy Blunt dis the Mo. State Chorus?

He said he lived just down the street from them in Springfield so they were easy to find, and they showed up!

Watching C-Span....tight, tight security.

Two rows of uniformed armed officers on both sides of parade route. Then police bike rack type barriers set up in squares...then a few citizens cheering. 10-15 walking SS men walking along the tank like limousine.

Unbelievable.
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