Thirty Democratic senators demanded in a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy Devos, the Department of Education must stop its misguided efforts to roll back civil rights protections.
“We are extraordinarily disappointed and alarmed by recent actions you and your staff have taken, that have diminished the U.S. Department of Education’s enforcement of federal civil rights laws,” the letter begins. “Your testimony in front of Congress, your continued association with groups with records of supporting discrimination, and two memos written by the Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, have reemphasized longstanding concerns about your dedication to the idea that all students…have a right to receive an education free from discrimination.”
The letter from the Democratic Senators dated June 27, said, “You claim to support civil rights and oppose discrimination, but your actions belie your assurances. The letter details DeVos financial support for and public appearances with the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian group and lobbying organization. According to the Daily Beast, The Southern Poverty Law Center has listed FRC as a hate group, because it has knowingly spread false and denigrating propaganda about LGBT people.
The Senators wrote, “These actions appear to reinforce the Trump administration’s efforts to curtail civil rights protections for students and families.” The letter from the senators marks the return of the so-called right-wing culture wars across the federal government. According to ProPublica.org Trump’s appointees have been slowly unraveling the basic tenets of civil rights enforcement in recent decades.
DeVos has proposed cutting over 40 positions from the civil rights office, and with the reduction of staff the department will be forced to make difficult choices, and will ultimately be limited in its investigations. Other departments within the current administration have also proposed cutting programs that will directly impact justice programs that exclusively impact minority communities.
Senators have said that Devos has stonewalled efforts to explain her positions and actions, despite being urged to do so. Despite pretending ignorance, she continues to use her power and position to further her right wing agenda.