February 07, 2017

Manchin Votes Against Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) today issued a statement on his vote against U.S. Department of Education nominee, Betsy DeVos.

“As a former Governor, I understand how crucial it is for an executive leader to have his team in place but as a Senator it is my job to evaluate a nominee’s qualifications and determine if they can lead that agency. After meeting with Betsy DeVos, reviewing her experience and watching her hearing, I could not vote for her to be our next Secretary of Education. 

“For many communities in West Virginia, our schools are more than just classrooms, teachers and textbooks. Our children in West Virginia learn more from their public schools than reading, writing and arithmetic. They’re the heart of the community and a home away from home. They’re a safe place to stay after school where no harm will come to you. They’re a place where nutritional meals are served and healthcare services are provided by trusted school nurses. We need an education secretary that understands the challenges that students, teachers, and schools in rural areas face. Betsy DeVos has spent her career working to privatize public schools, not investing in and improving them. The policies that she supports would divert already very limited public funds to private schools, reduce accountability from those schools, and significantly harm the public school system in a rural state like West Virginia. Betsy DeVos’s views are not in tune with the needs of the students and families in my state. My opposition to Mrs. DeVos is not personal or political. It is principled. While she is Secretary of Education, I will continue to fight to protect funding for our schools and teachers and ensure equal access to a quality education for all of our students.”