February 07, 2017
The Senate is scheduled to vote on Tuesday on whether to confirm Betsy DeVos, President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Education.
Tuesday’s anticipated vote, by the narrowest possible margin, follows a surge of opposition that culminated in an all-night speaking marathon by Democrats on the Senate floor over what they see as DeVos' lack of experience to do the job.
On the eve of the vote, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney penned an open letter to U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey urging him to "vote no on Mrs. DeVos" and noting the progress that's been made in Philadelphia schools, which Kenney says will be jeopardized under DeVos' leadership.
"I urge you to deny her confirmation as Secretary of Education and do what’s right for our children and the future prosperity of our nation. We have made so much progress here in Philadelphia over the past year to improve our education system. We’ve created an affordable, quality pre-K program, a move that was urged and supported by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. We’ve implemented a Community Schools strategy to address our students’ non-academic needs, so that our hardworking teachers can focus on instruction."
Kenney went on to invite Toomey to join him on a visit to a Philadelphia school to "see for yourself."
Read the full letter here.