Request Betsy Devos’ Resignation

WHEREAS the first choice of most American families is a well-staffed, well-resourced neighborhood public school open to serve every child; and

WHEREAS families want our nation’s public schools to be supported and strengthened rather than dismantled; and

WHEREAS Secretary DeVos never attended public school, never sent her children to public school, never taught in a public school, doesn’t have a degree or credential in any educational field, has never served on a board of education, has never served in a governmental capacity and never worked in any educational field, and

WHEREAS Secretary DeVos has spent several decades advocating for and contributing millions of dollars to the school choice movement, in support of vouchers (primarily to private religious institutions), charters (including for-profit charters), cyber charters and on-line learning, all of which by their very nature eviscerate free and appropriate public education for specific economic, social and racial groups; and

WHEREAS Secretary DeVos’s plan to divert taxpayer funds to private and religious schools will not only severely weaken our public schools, but will sow more discord, increase segregation among schools and communities, and degrade the quality of education that the vast majority of our children receive; and

WHEREAS policies that Secretary DeVos advocates for have not been proven to improve educational outcomes for the majority of the nation’s children; and

WHEREAS, at Secretary DeVos’s confirmation hearing on January 17, 2017 before the U.S. Senate Health, Labor, Education and Pensions Committee, she demonstrated that she lacks the depth of knowledge required to lead our nation’s public schools; and

WHEREAS, at the same hearing, Secretary DeVos refused to answer questions about her home state of Michigan’s struggling charter schools, refused to say whether private and charter schools receiving federal funds should be held to the same accountability standards as public schools, refused to say whether she would uphold current laws regarding the reporting of sexual assault on campus, and refused to say whether she would uphold current laws that protect students from predatory, for profit colleges; and

WHEREAS Secretary DeVos’s policies may put federal protections under IDEA at risk for special needs students; and

WHEREAS Secretary DeVos has a troubling history of financially supporting organizations whose actions are detrimental to LGBTQ students; and

WHEREAS Secretary DeVos campaigned for a right-to-work law in Michigan in 2012 that bans unions from collecting fair-share fees, thereby undermining the ability of unions to advocate on behalf of all workers; and

WHEREAS Secretary DeVos hosted events with anti-LGBTQ hate groups, has proposed slashing the budget of the office of civil rights, and has scaled back civil rights enforcements; and

WHEREAS Secretary DeVos has announced plans to reconsider Title IX sexual assault guidance, which is an unconscionable attack on survivors; and

WHEREAS Secretary DeVos has withdrawn protections for student loan borrowers and may curb post-secondary education access for under-represented students; and

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT:  The parents, families, teachers, students, administrators, elected officials, taxpayers and the electorate of Washington State have no confidence in Betsy DeVos as the United States Secretary of Education and call for her immediate resignation, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT: The 21st LD Democrats support and endorse the March Against DeVos, to be held from 5-7 PM on October 13, 2017, at 900 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue WA.

Adopted – August 30, 2017