#DumpDeVos Letter Writing / Phone Campaign

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Detroit Knows Best About Betsy DeVos

Read what Detroit resident Mother Helen Moore has to say about Betsy DeVos:

In 2000 Betsy DeVos, a billionaire, led the voucher proposal placed on the Michigan ballot. Many of us met and organized to defeat her effort.  We won, but she never stopped.  She spent millions of her and her husband’s money to organize support for her efforts.  She gave millions to the politicians to support her efforts to destroy public schools which has had an adverse impact on black and brown school systems in Michigan.  She even organized her own corporation, Great Lakes Education Project, carry out her mission to destroy public education.  She has been nominated as the Secretary of The US Department of Education. In my opinion this will destroy any hope of maintaining a sustainable education for our students.

On January 11 at 10:00 am the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee will begin a hearing on the nomination of Betsy DeVos to serve as Secretary of Education.

It is critical that we join with Journey for Justice and other pro-public education organizations to express our strong concerns regarding her nomination.

Letter Writing Tips:

  • Michigan has had charter schools for almost 20 years, and Detroit now has an education system that has been described as “deeply dysfunctional,” and “where failure is rewarded with opportunities for expansion.” Devos basically funded the dismantling of the Detroit public school system.
  • According to the Detroit Free Press, “38% of charter schools that received state academic rankings during the 2012-13 school year fell below the 25th percentile, meaning at least 75% of all schools in the state performed better. Only 23% of traditional public schools fell below the 25th percentile.” The privatization movement in Michigan, in large part bankrolled and advocated for by Devos is an abject failure.
  • In 2008, Ms. DeVos’ PAC violated Ohio’s campaign finance laws, and was fined $5.3 million.  Her PAC ignored a state advisory ruling that its action would be illegal and yet went ahead anyway.  The fine remains unpaid and she gets rewarded with a cabinet post.
  • Because of Ms. DeVos efforts, nearly $1 billion of public education dollars have been drained each year from Michigan public schools into mostly for-profit charter schools of poor quality.  According to the New York Times, “divisive politics and educational ideology … have combined to produce a public education fiasco that is perhaps unparalleled in the United States.” [2]
  • The Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup poll reveals that only 31 percent of Americans favor allowing students to attend private schools at public expense. [3] Since 1972, all attempts to create state voucher programs through referendum have failed, generally by two-to-one margins. [4] Recent research has concluded that public school students who receive vouchers to attend private schools score much lower on both reading and math tests than similar students who remain in the public schools. [5]

Sample Form Letter

Dear Senator __________,

I am writing to let you, as a Senator on the HELP Committee, that I am in opposition of Betsy DeVos being appointed the Secretary of Education. I want all members of the HELP Committee to know that I would like them to strongly oppose the appointment of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. I believe in my community’s public schools. Betsy DeVos believes in school privatization and vouchers, which has harmed children in communities across the country.

The charter system she bankrolled in Michigan is among the worst in the country. Instead of education equity, she promotes vouchers and online schools. I choose great public community schools for our children. Schools that focus on smaller class size, positive discipline practices, and parent and community engagement.

Betsy DeVos is unqualified to make that a reality. I am asking the HELP Committee to vote against the confirmation of Betsy DeVos.

Sincerely,

Your Name

_______________________

Call HELP Committee Members:

Script: My name is xxxx and I am calling to let the Senator know that I would like him/her to oppose the appointment of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education.

DeVos and her family heavily lobbied the Michigan legislature to shield the charter industry from greater oversight. She pushes for-profit charter schools and online schools, which consistently fail the students that they are supposed to serve.

I want my tax dollars to stay in my community to support my public schools.  Betsy DeVos is bad for American education. She is unqualified to serve as Secretary of Education.

Member Washington Phone Fax Additional Phone Numbers
Chairman

Senator Lamar Alexander

(Republican – TN)

P: (202) 224-4944 F: (202) 228-3398

(423) 752-5337

(731) 664-0289

(901) 544-4224

Ranking Member

Senator Patty Murray

(Democratic – WA)

P: (202) 224-2621

F: (202) 224-0238

(425) 259-6515

(360) 696-7797

Senator Michael B. Enzi

(Republican – WY)

P: (202) 224-3424

F: (202) 228-0359 (307) 261-6572

(307) 772-2477

Senator Richard Burr

(Republican – NC)

P: (202) 224-3154 F: (202) 228-2981 (828) 350-2437

(336) 631-5125

Senator Bernie Sanders

(Democratic – VT)

P: (202) 224-5141 F: (202) 228-0776 (802) 862-0697

(802) 748-9269

Johnny Isakson

(Republican – GA)

P: (202) 224-3643 F: (202) 228-0724 (770) 661-0999
Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr(Democratic – PA) P: (202) 224-6324 F:: (202) 228-0604 (215) 405-9660

(570) 941-0930

Senator Rand Paul

(Republican – KY)

P: 202-224-4343 (270)-782-8303

(859)-426-0165

Senator Al Franken

(Democratic – MN)

P: (202) 224-5641 (218) 722-2390

(218) 284-8721

Senator Susan Collins

(Republican – ME)

P: (202)224-2523 F: (202)224-2693

(253)383-5841

(207) 622-8414

(207) 945-0417

Senator Michael F. Bennett

(Democratic – CO)

P: 202-224-5852 F: 202-228-5097 303-455-7600

719-542-7550

Senator Lisa Murkowski

(Republican – AK)

P: (202)-224-6665 F: (202)-224-5301 (907) 456-0233

(907) 271-3735

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

(Democratic – RI)

P: (202) 224-2921 F: (202) 228-6362 (401) 453-5294
Senator Mark Kirk

(Republican – IL)

P: 202-224-2854 F: 202-228-4611 (312)-886-3506

(217)-492-5089

Senator Tammy Baldwin(Democratic – WI) P: (202) 224-5653 (715) 832-8424

(920) 498-2668

Senator Tim Scott

(Republican – SC)

P: (202) 224-6121, Toll Free: (855) 425-6324 F: (202) 228-5143 (803) 771-6112
Senator Christopher S. Murphy

(Democratic – CT)

P: (202) 224-4041 F: (202) 224-9750 (864) 233-5366

Senator Orrin Hatch

(Republican – UT)

P: (202) 224-5251 F: (202) 224-6331 (435) 586-8435

Senator Elizabeth Warren

(Democratic – MA)

P: (202) 224-4543 (617) 565-3170

(413) 788-2690

Senator Pat Roberts

(Republican – KS)

P: 202-224-4774 F: 202-224-3514 (620) 227-2244

(785) 295-2745

Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D.(Republican – LA) P: (202) 224-5824 F: (202) 224-9735

(318) 448-7176

(225) 929-7711

olb

Photo credit: Joe Brusky / Overpass Light Brigade

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