Today, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions voted along party lines, 12-11, to report the nomination of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education to the Senate floor despite the fact that she is woefully unqualified to lead the Department of Education. The full Senate should reject this confirmation. Ms. DeVos’ confirmation hearing greatly underscored the fact that she is completely unaware of her legal obligations under critical federal education laws. Even more troubling, she has given no indication that she would protect students with disabilities or enforce civil rights laws, including those ensuring equal educational opportunities for all students. In addition, she has clearly stated that she does not agree that all schools that receive federal funding should be required to meet the same accountability standards. Ms. DeVos’ record of engagement with education issues suggests that she not only lacks the experience, but also the demonstrated commitment to promoting education equity and core areas of education policy and law needed to effectively undertake this significant post.
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.