Anchorage- In a press release yesterday, Senator Dan Sullivan offered an unabashed endorsement to Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos, assuring his supporters that she will be a knowledgeable and dedicated advocate for Alaska's children. 

“This nominee is wrong for Alaska and wrong for the country,” said Alaska Democratic Party Chair Casey Steinau.  “We roundly oppose this nominee for many reasons. To start, she is wildly unqualified and has no experience with public schools as a parent, teacher, or student. She lacks the depth of knowledge that is required to navigate through the complex school district systems, grant funded programs, and academic requirements within our nation’s schools across the country.  

 “Additionally, DeVos’ statements reveal that she would disproportionately rely on digital learning as a replacement for teacher-student relationships.  While digital learning can create positive results for some students, it is not a catch-all for our nation’s children.  For example, low income children sometimes benefit from additional help from teachers and teachers’ assistants in the classroom.  We need to ensure that all of our children—not just those at the top of the economic ladder—have the best possible opportunities to learn and grow.

 “Finally, when questioned by a Congressional panel, DeVos voiced utter confusion regarding the IDEA program, which focuses on children with disabilities. Alaskans expect a Secretary of Education who possess basic knowledge of a foundational program designed to help children that experience disabilities.  It is downright worrisome that DeVos could not answer critical questions about the program.

 “While Senator Sullivan is a partisan, I urge him to consider the disastrous ramifications of confirming Betsy DeVos and Alaska Democrats call on him to reconsider his decision for the future of the children of Alaska and our country.”

 For additional information, Communications Director Katie Bruggeman can be reached at 258-3050