DOE nominee DeVos set for vote Tuesday, Jan. 31

January 30, 2017 / education

President Trump has nominated Betsy DeVos to lead the U.S. Department of Education. In her hearing before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) on January 17, she testified that enforcement of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, a federal law, “is a matter best left to the states.” In a subsequent letter to Congress, she acknowledged a “federal role in implementing IDEA.” Still, many special education advocates have raised concerns about her commitment to education of children with disabilities, particularly in public school settings, and have flooded the phones of their Senators to voice opposition.
IDEA is of critical importance to students with disabilities, and federal law requires states and school districts to uphold it. It is the second largest K-12 program administered by the U.S. DOE. Under IDEA:

  • 6.5 million (more than 1 in 8) students with disabilities receive a free, appropriate public education
  • Students have a right to individualized education programs (IEPs) that require schools to provide services to help them succeed
  • Students with disabilities have the right to be integrated into general education classrooms with their peers

The Senate HELP committee will be voting on DeVos’ candidacy in an Executive Session Tuesday, January 31, at 10 a.m. If she receives a majority of votes from the committee, she will then be up for a vote on the Senate floor, where all 100 Senators will vote. Ohio’s Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown need to hear your stories about what the IDEA has meant to your family and how you feel about Betsy DeVos leading the Department of Education. Call them at the numbers below:


  • 513-684-3265 Cincinnati
  • 216-522-7095 Cleveland
  • 614-469-6774 Columbus
  • 419-259-3895 Toledo
  • 202-224-3353 Washington, DC


  • 513-684-1021 Cincinnati
  • 216-522-7272 Cleveland
  • 614-469-2083 Columbus
  • 440-242-4100 Lorain
  • 202-224-2315 Washington, DC

Make a Donation

Please give. To the best of your ability.