FLASHBACK: Mike Pence Failed Michigan Students and Teachers

As Mike Pence heads to Michigan today to boost another effort backed by Betsy Devos to undermine public education, DNC spokesperson Ammar Moussa released the following statement:

“It’s no surprise that Mike Pence is once again standing shoulder to shoulder with Betsy DeVos in a blatant attempt to undermine public education. Under the Trump-Pence administration’s disastrous policies, K-12 schools were repeatedly left behind — and as a global pandemic left students, parents, and educators reeling, they threatened to make things even worse. While Pence continues the GOP’s efforts to undermine public schools, President Biden and Michigan Democrats are working for educators and students, delivering critical funding last year to safely reopen schools and get children back in the classroom.”

Pence cast the tie breaking vote to confirm Betsy DeVos, one of the worst education secretaries in American history:

NBC News: “Betsy DeVos Vote: Pence’s History-Making Tie Breaker Confirms Controversial Education Secretary”

USA Today: “Pence, who oversaw a huge expansion of Indiana’s voucher program as that state’s governor, called his vote a ‘high honor.’ DeVos had played an influential role in developing Indiana’s largest-in-the-nation private school voucher program.”

DeVos repeatedly failed even the most simple tests of competence and character before, during, and after her disastrous tenure as education secretary:

CBS News: “DeVos defends proposal to cut federal funding for Special Olympics”

Politico: “DeVos ‘not familiar’ with affirmative action guidance her agency scrapped” 

Washington Post: “More recently, [DeVos] moved to pull back Obama-era guidance that outlined how schools should investigate sexual assault, angering many victims and their advocates.”

Politico: “DeVos compares abortion rights debate to slavery”

Let’s not forget, Mike Pence stood shoulder to shoulder with DeVos as she threatened to defund public schools, repeatedly attacked teachers, and said she would be okay with the Department of Education not existing: 

U.S. News and World Report: “DeVos: I’d Be Fine Ditching the Education Department”

The Detroit News: “Earlier this year, when the state was considering a bailout for the debt-laden Detroit Public Schools, Betsy wrote a Feb. 22 commentary in The Detroit News that favored shutting down the district.”

The Detroit News: “DeVos has made it clear that she will challenge education unions. At a July school choice forum at the Republican National Convention, she accused teachers unions of holding back innovation in education and called them ‘a formidable foe’ at both the state and national levels.”

NBC News: “DeVos refused to promise that she would not privatize or strip funding from the public schools she would oversee if confirmed.”

NPR: “[DeVos] said she hasn’t visited struggling schools because she is afraid she wouldn’t be welcome.”

Associated Press: “DeVos compares school choice to switching phone carriers”

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “After school trip, Betsy DeVos insults teachers for their ‘receive mode’”

Mike Pence opposed the American Rescue Plan that President Biden and Democrats passed to help reopen schools, combat learning loss, and address student mental health:

CNN: “The emergency assistance package secured about $128 billion for K-12 schools to help them facilitate remote learning or reopen and operate safely while combating learning losses. Money was also targeted to help students with disabilities and youth experiencing homelessness.”

Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona: “Ninety-nine percent of schools are safely open for in-person learning and that is a testament to the hard work and partnership of school communities – particularly parents, educators, district leaders and school staff.”

Newsweek: “Pence spent much of his speech praising Trump’s actions while in office and going over the main talking points of the conservative agenda. He spoke out against the Coronavirus American Rescue Plan spending.”