Opposition to the Appointment of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education




RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU (ASCSU) oppose the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education, and call upon the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions to reject the appointment of Betsy DeVos; and be it further


RESOLVED: That the ASCSU distribute this resolution to U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; U.S. Senators Feinstein and Harris; Office of the California State Superintendent of Public Instruction; California School Boards Association (CSBA) President; CSU Board of Trustees; CSU Chancellor; CSU campus Presidents; CSU campus Senate Chairs; California Faculty Association (CFA); California State Student Association (CSSA); CSU Emeritus and Retired Faculty Association (CSUERFA); Chair of the Academic Senate for the California Community Colleges (CCC); Chair of the Academic Senate of the University of California (UC); CCC Board of Governors; UC Board of Regents; The Washington Post; The New York Times; Wall Street Journal; USA Today; Chronicle of Higher Education; Inside Higher Ed; Los Angeles Times; San Francisco Chronicle; and the Sacramento Bee.


RATIONALE:  Public education is at the core of our democracy. The California State University (CSU) is the largest public institution of higher education in the United States and educates the majority of California's teachers and nearly 8 percent of the nation's teachers. The ASCSU has a commitment to social justice and the creation of compassionate communities of graduates, including those who will serve as educators; we are dedicated to inclusiveness and to resisting educational policies and practices rooted in inequity. The CSU is committed to providing equitable access to excellent education for all students.


The Department of Education’s primary purpose is to “strengthen the Federal commitment to ensuring access to equal educational opportunity for every individual.1" Betsy DeVos has described public education as a “closed system, closed industry, closed market” and a “dead end.2".


DeVos has a track record of diverting public dollars away from public schools to fund private schools. Based on her prior experiences in her home state of Michigan, a likely outcome of DeVos’ appointment would be to distribute federal and state funds, currently earmarked to support low-income and underserved students in public schools, to private institutions. In her confirmation hearing, DeVos explicitly declined the opportunity to deny that she would “work to privatize public schools.”


Not only do DeVos’ proposed programs defy our country’s First Amendment by mingling our public generated funds with private and religious institutions, they take those monies from low-income communities, rural communities, and communities of color where they are most needed. Based upon her responses in the confirmation hearing, DeVos also lacks a clear understanding of the federal policy of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The strength of our nation requires that our educational agenda focuses on closing the opportunity gap for students from all backgrounds, not widen it.





Approved Unanimously – January 26-27, 2017





1 https://answers.ed.gov/ics/support/KBAnswer.asp?questionID=568&subscribe=1


2 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2016/12/21/to-trumps-education-pick-the-u-s-public-school-system-is-a-dead-end/?utm_term=.1b3eee568cd4




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