This afternoon, the Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos as the next U.S. Secretary of Education. Her appointment was approved through a 51-50 vote, with the tiebreaker cast by the President of the Senate, Vice President Mike Pence.
In a final attempt to derail the confirmation of Betsy DeVos, Senate Democrats spent all night debating on the Senate floor. Through the debateathon, the Senate was in session since noon on Monday, giving a grand total of 24 hours of being in-session. Throughout the night, Democrats shared three major concerns regarding Mrs. DeVos’ confirmation, which included her philosophical opposition public schools, lack of expertise in education policy, and possible conflicts of interested related to business ties.
Despite their attempt, the debateathon was not successful in sparking an additional Republican to switch their vote. As expected, all 48 members of the Senate Democratic Caucus, along with two Republicans, Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Susan Collins (ME) voted against her nomination. Senators Murkowski and Collins announced their opposition earlier last week.
The Future of Music Education
NAfME thanks our members for their undying support by answering our call to action. Because of your help, we were able to gather some insight regarding Secretary DeVos’ views on music and arts education.
Unfortunately, her answers did not adequately address the many issues surrounding music and a well-rounded education. Rest assured, as we move forward working with the Secretary and the Trump Administration, NAfME’s advocacy and policy staff will continue to seek answers from the Administration, as we pursue our collective mission of advancing the making of music by all.
If you would like to learn more about the Administration and what this means for music education moving forward, we invite you to join us on quarterly advocacy webinar tomorrow at 7:00 PM (EST).
Ronny Lau, Policy Advisor, Center for Advocacy, Policy, and Constituency Engagement, February 7, 2017. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org)