February 06, 2017

Hirono Shares Messages from Hawaii Educators Opposed to Betsy DeVos

Hirono: “It Shouldn’t Be Asking Too Much to Have an Education Secretary Who Will Stand Up for Public Schools and the Millions of Children Who Attend Public School”

Today on the Senate floor, Senator Mazie K. Hirono shared messages from two Hawaii educators opposed to the nomination of Betsy DeVos to serve as Secretary of Education.

From Senator Hirono’s remarks:

“It shouldn’t be asking too much to have an Education Secretary who will stand up for public schools and the millions of our children who attend public schools. That person is not Betsy DeVos.”

Click on the photo above to watch Senator Hirono’s remarks

From Senator Hirono’s remarks, as prepared for delivery:

Constituents from every state who care about our public schools and our students in public schools have broken records calling their Senators in opposition to Betsy DeVos.

In the past few weeks, I’ve heard from thousands of Hawaii residents concerned about voting for an Education Secretary who clearly does not believe in our nation’s public schools.

I’d like to share two of their messages today:

Dear Senator Hirono,

As a proud Hawaii educator for 30 plus years, I'm deeply troubled by the possible appointment of Betsy DeVos to the position of US Secretary of Education.

Although I would personally never consider applying for a job I am not qualified to serve in, it's baffling to me that our new Commander in Chief thinks someone who has NO experience as a teacher or administrator could be remotely prepared to lead our nation in this role.

I don't have to explain to you what a selfless calling being a teacher is, nor do I believe our Hawaii Delegation takes educating Hawaii's keiki lightly, so I implore you to work with other leaders in DC to make sure we have a suitable nominee for this essential position.

Mahalo,

Sandy from Honolulu

Sandy, and teachers like her, devote far more time and effort than is mandated to ensure that our public school students have a solid foundation in education and for life.

They deserve a better qualified, better experienced, better prepared, and more committed Secretary of Education than Betsy DeVos.

Next, I’d like to share a message from Lorelei, a middle school principal on Oahu.

Dear Senator Hirono,

As a strong supporter of public education, I ask that you oppose the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

Educators and students deserve a secretary who can commit to supporting every student in all public schools, and a leader that will work tirelessly to promote a public education system that provides each child with the optimum conditions for teaching and learning.

Betsy DeVos' past work in education and her performance at the recent confirmation hearing demonstrated neither a depth of experience nor knowledge base in education policy and on critical issues facing the community.

As a principal, I have spoken with teachers, parents, students, and community members across the political spectrum and there is widespread agreement that Betsy DeVos is not the right person for the job.

As Lorelei said, it shouldn’t be asking too much to have an education secretary who will stand up for public schools and the millions of our children who attend our public schools.

That person is not Betsy DeVos.