ALBANY, N.Y. Feb. 7, 2017 – New York State United Teachers today released the following statement upon the U.S. Senate’s narrow confirmation amid bi-partisan opposition of billionaire donor Betsy DeVos as U.S. education secretary.
“The irony is inescapable: While educators are required to prove they are qualified in order to work in the classroom, the U.S. Senate has confirmed a dangerous ideologue with absolutely no experience or qualifications to lead the U.S. Department of Education.
Betsy DeVos’ gave puzzling answers to basic questions about federal education policy. Her opposition to accountability for charter schools; unresolved conflicts of interest; and decades-long record of using her family’s fortune to undermine public education led hundreds of groups – and millions of Americans here in New York and across the country – to vigorously oppose her confirmation in phone calls, letters, e-mails and faxes. We are proud to have stood shoulder to shoulder with them in defense of our public schools.
“We thank NYSUT members and all of those who fiercely advocated for students and public education during this fight. And, we again thank Sen. Charles Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for their leadership on behalf of public education. NYSUT and its members will be redoubling our fierce advocacy on behalf of public education and students. Public education is the foundation of our democracy. Now, more than ever, we must protect it.”
New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.