Betsy DeVos, a potential disaster for the autism community

30 Jan

President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education is a woman by the name of Betsy DeVos. Ms. Devos has long been an advocate for alternatives to public education. She’s pushed voucher programs and charter schools. Both programs have generally left students with disabilities behind.

Here is one of the videos from Ms. DeVos’ hearing before the Senate HELP Committee. This one doesn’t even catch some of her more embarrassing statements.

If you watch this video, you will see that Ms. DeVos routinely refuses to answer important and direct questions. Would she enforce Federal law? Well, she didn’t even understand that the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) was Federal law. In many programs where students are offered vouchers, disabled students have to waive their rights under IDEA. Ms. DeVos was asked if she would support students being able to keep their rights–and she refuses repeatedly to answer.

There are a few catch phrases you will hear from her that basically amount to “I don’t know what I’m talking about but I don’t want to admit it.” When asked about IDEA she responded repeatedly that these decisions “should be left to the states”.

People often dodge these sorts of questions when they know their answers will be criticized (think of Trump’s “I can’t release my tax returns because I’m being audited” claim. It wasn’t true and now he’s confirmed that he has no intention of releasing them.).

I don’t have the time to go into more details, but she would be a major disaster for the disability community–obviously especially those still in school. Please look into this. If you decide, like I have, that she is not an education secretary who would benefit our kids, act. Call your representatives. Ask them to not approve her. It can make a difference. Here’s one example:

Keep Calling Your Representatives; It’s Working
Thanks to over 1,000 phone calls from concerned constituents, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp announced she would not vote to confirm Betsy DeVos.

Search news sites for discussions of Betsy DeVos. Find your Senator’s phone number and call. Make your voice heard.

I can’t make a comprehensive list of articles but here are two:

Here is a recent article:
Progressives launch last-minute push against Betsy DeVos, and conservatives counter with online ad campaign

And another:
What’s the worst that could happen with Betsy DeVos as education secretary? Two scenarios.

4 Responses to “Betsy DeVos, a potential disaster for the autism community”

  1. Debra J Kenny February 10, 2017 at 03:01 #

    I am a Registered Nirse for 35 years now and WHEN a child is diagnosed with AUTISM and has the opportunity to go to school at age three and only has to cross the street to school every day . When I care for ” YOUR” mother who has had a stroke , we will start rehabing her as soon as her health is stabalized ❣️MY GRANDSON IS 3 YEARS OLD AND HAS EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO START HIS REHAB JUST ACROSS THE STREET AND THEY WILL NOT ACCEPT HIM BECAUSE HIS PARENTS INSURANCE WILL NOT COVER THE REMAINING COST ! Are you sure you want to choose Ms DeVos for this job. She appears to be a LIAR and has inhumane thoughts about disabled children in public school . ONE MAD NANA IN NEW YORK 💙

  2. Chris February 11, 2017 at 17:23 #

    Oh, boy… and now it starts:

    The page about IDEA has been removed from the Dept. of Education webite.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) February 11, 2017 at 18:11 #

      It’s back up last I checked.

      • jc March 27, 2019 at 15:36 #

        Betsy Devos defends slashing funds for Special Olympics headline from Time. So much for people who care about quality of life.

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