GLSEN Statement on Betsy DeVos’s Nomination as U.S. Secretary of Education

Betsy DeVos's Nomination as Ed Secretary

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GLSEN Statement on Betsy DeVos’s Nomination as U.S. Secretary of Education

NEW YORK (November 23, 2016) – GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard released the following statement in response to the announcement that President-elect Donald Trump intends to nominate Betsy DeVos for U.S. Secretary of Education. DeVos is a prominent philanthropist and one of the primary advocates of “school choice” initiatives centered on vouchers and tax credits. DeVos and her family also have a long history of funding right-wing Christian advocacy groups, including Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council and Alliance Defending Freedom.

“We are deeply concerned by the nomination of Betsy DeVos for U.S. Secretary of Education. GLSEN is committed to the principle that all students have a right to high-quality public education free from discrimination. DeVos’s record of advocacy for vouchers and tuition tax credits represents a rejection of that principle. We have seen time and time again that so-called “school choice” undercuts civil-rights enforcement and drains public education systems of desperately needed funds. True educational equity requires schools that serve the most at-risk students, including students of color; students with disabilities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning (LGBTQ) students; and English-language learners. Vouchers and tuition tax credits do not advance this cause.

“As we have seen over the past eight years, federal civil rights oversight of education is essential to ensure that all students in this country have real access to opportunity. There is so much to be celebrated in the civil rights gains made during the Obama Administration. As a nation, we must build on that legacy. Over the years, people of good will across the political spectrum have been able to come together to promote the success of all students, and we call upon DeVos to join us in moving forward.”



GLSEN champions safe and affirming schools for all students. We envision a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. Each year, GLSEN programs and resources reach tens of thousands of K-12 schools across the United States, and our network of chapters brings GLSEN’s expertise to their local communities. GLSEN's progress and impact have won support for our work at all levels of education in the United States and sparked an international movement to ensure equality for LGBTQ students and respect for all in schools. For more information on GLSEN’s policy advocacy, student leadership initiatives, public education, research and educator training programs, please visit