For weeks the education community has reeled at the nomination of Betsy DeVos to be President Trump’s Secretary of Education. Her record of working hard to undermine public schools has been brought to light time and time again. Endless articles point out her shortcomings and relentless efforts in Michigan to make sure religious schools get public money through vouchers and that charter schools skate by with as little accountability as possible.
U.S. Senators have been swamped with calls and emails protesting her selection. Many have said they have never witnessed such an outpouring of public sentiment opposing a Presidential nominee–for any position.
The are 52 Republicans in the Senate, 46 Democrats and two Independents. Votes have been counted over and over. And now, Republican senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have broken ranks with their party and say they will not vote for DeVos when her nomination reaches the Senate floor.
This gives us a 50-50 tie. But in such cases, the vice-president breaks the tie. And Mike Pence will be the 51st vote for DeVos.
This is why Senate leader Mitch McConnell will bring up the DeVos vote prior to a vote for Jeff Sessions for Attorney General. If the Sessions vote was first and he is confirmed, suddenly the Republicans only have 49 votes.
I spent two hours today in an elementary school. As the principal and I walked the halls, we saw dozens and dozens of children busily about their work. They were taking Spanish, music, learning about erosion in a science class, painting posters, etc. Time after time the principal, Elizabeth Hill, called a child by name and gave them a hug. No one in school this morning was worried about the political shenanigans going on in Washington.
And it is for sure that none of the Washington politicians give a damn about what was going on in this school. Their world is only about winning and losing and having power. So what if the poorest prepared nominee in history is about to take the reins of the U.S. Department of Education? It is far more important that my side win.
It is truly a sad, sad commentary. Just like the one we witnessed in Alabama last summer when political ambitions corrupted the search for a new state school superintendent.
I am a big boy. I have been in lots of political scraps. I understand the game as well as most. But for the life of me, I don’t understand how politicians can trample on children for their own self gain.