The email below was sent to all NJEA members following the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education. For weeks, NJEA members and public education advocates across the nation have lobbied against DeVos because of her lack of qualifications and hostility toward public education.
Just a few minutes ago, the United States Senate voted by the narrowest possible margin to confirm Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. We know that is a bitter disappointment for many NJEA members, and we share that disappointment. Secretary DeVos is not qualified for the position and she has a record of hostility toward public education. We have a long, tough fight ahead of us to defend our public schools.
But as disappointed as we are, we did not want to let this moment pass without acknowledging the incredible work of NJEA members, along with fellow educators and advocates across the country, in making this one of the toughest confirmation battles in American history. Never before has the Vice President had to cast the tie-breaking vote to get a cabinet nomination approved by the Senate. That happened because we refused to back down.
Over the last several weeks, we were part of a nationwide movement to stand up for public education. Together, we made calls and sent emails by the millions, shattering records along the way. We joined protests and visited Senate offices. We Tweeted and Facebooked every day. We even sent faxes, because we refused to leave a single stone unturned in this fight for our students and our schools.
We stood up for our profession, and America saw us. And while we didn’t quite win this vote, we showed that we have the numbers, the determination and the passion to keep fighting for as long as it takes. And that’s exactly what we are going to do. In the words of F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.”
Please take a minute right now to sign up below as an Education Activist so we know you are on the team for every challenge still to come.
We’re just getting started.
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