January 6, 2017
The Honorable Lamar Alexander
U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
428 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Chairman Alexander,
Independent Women’s Voice, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization for mainstream women, men and families, is proud to support the nomination of Betsy DeVos as the next U.S. Secretary of Education.
Betsy DeVos has a track record of tirelessly fighting for the right of all students—particularly low-income students—to receive a quality education. Her focus on helping those who need it most, and making our public education system work for students and families, is exactly what this country needs. For too long, we’ve allowed a massive disparity to persist between high-income students and low-income students, who are far more likely to drop out of high school and far less likely to attend and graduate from college. That’s unfair to them, and unfair to our country as a whole.
DeVos is well-qualified to take this challenge on and make much needed changes to our education system because she has devoted her life to providing more educational opportunities for all students. DeVos has been an effective and longtime advocate of school choice, playing a role in passing Michigan’s first charter-school bill and overseeing the American Federation for Children, which empowers families (particularly those with lower incomes) to select the school that works best for them.
DeVos knows that giving parents more choices and more control over their children’s education is the best way to encourage schools to improve. That’s a fact confirmed by research such as the study from Mathematica Policy Research which shows that students who attend a public charter school are more likely to enroll in college and are more likely achieve higher earnings as adults. Likewise, an Education Next study found that increased competition has positive effects on student performance in public schools.
Educational opportunities are integral to the long-term happiness and prosperity of children across the country. That’s why we need Betsy DeVos to be the Secretary of Education so that all students, particularly low-income students, will be supported in their academic careers so they can climb the ladders to success.
IWV strongly urges the Senate to consider and confirm Betsy DeVos as the next Secretary of Education.
President and CEO