* Statement on the nomination of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education

The Campaign for the Future of Higher Education is trying to prevent the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education.  The SCFA supports this campaign and encourages colleagues to call our senators (phone numbers below). As well, please forward this message to colleagues across the United States, especially those in red states. The CFHE letter follows:

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The nomination of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education raises alarms that the new administration will fail to support college access and affordability for millions of current and future college students. Her nomination signals a blatant disregard for not only the magnitude of college debt plaguing our students but also the widespread fraud that has been exposed in the for-profit sector across the country. It also reveals an irresponsible resistance to protecting students from sexual assault, gun violence, ensuring the rights of immigrants, and students with disabilities.

Equally troubling, at her confirmation hearing and in the disclosure of her extensive financial entanglements, DeVos refused to commit to enforcing existing laws protecting students from fraudulent practices. Her financial connections to a student loan collection agency and  inexperience managing the trillion dollar student loan portfolio that would be her responsibility reinforce her unsuitability for the position.

Her responses to questions in her confirmation hearing raised concerns about the safety of students on our campuses. When asked about Title IX, DeVos indicated that as Secretary she would refuse to ensure that existing campus sexual assault prevention and response processes are respected and improved. She also refused to endorse a ban on guns in K-12 schools, suggesting that she would take a similar position with respect to college campuses.

DeVos also demonstrated a woeful ignorance of the federal scope of the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act; her lack of understanding puts the rights of all students with disabilities at risk. We also do not know  if she would respect the protections of DACA on which DREAMER students depend for their safety and protection.

In short, we believe that Betsy DeVos is singularly unqualified to fulfill the Department of Education’s obligation to ensure that all students who seek a college education will have fair access and will  receive the highest quality education possible with a minimum of debt. Her lack of experience and expertise is a black hole into which the nation’s students, faculty, and campus communities cannot afford to be pushed.

CFHE urges you to have your members make calls to their Senators IMMEDIATELY urging them to reject Betsy DeVos’s nomination as Secretary of Education.

To reach your Senator:

Feinstein, Dianne
331 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-3841

Harris, Kamala D.
112 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-3553

Contact information for Senators outside of California can be found HERE.

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