After a 12-11 vote in the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, the nomination of Betsy DeVos to be Secretary of the Department of Education goes to the full Senate for a final confirmation vote.
The close margin of the committee’s decision, and the extensive debate that took place before, during and after the vote, reflects the controversial nature of DeVos’s nomination.
Among those who have raised objections to placing the Michigan billionaire in charge of federal education policy are students and alumni of Calvin College, DeVos’s alma mater. Thousands of them signed a letter opposing the confirmation of their fellow alumna for the top education post.
Sara Moslener graduated from the Christian school in 1996. Today she is a professor in the religion program at Central Michigan University's College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences. She authored the protest letter, which identified four areas of concern with DeVos's nomination, including her qualifications in the education field and her level of commitment to public education.
If the letter does succeed in preventing DeVos’s eventual confirmation, Moslener said there is still value in voicing such objections.
“Even if on the official level things don’t seem to be going in a direction that makes us feel confident about the current administration, our speaking up in protest does complicate things,” she said. “And that is very important for us to be doing right now.”
Listen to our full interview with Sara Moslener above.