Resolution in Support of Public Education and Opposing United States Secretary of Education Nominee Betsy DeVos

WHEREAS, public education is an embodiment of our democratic principles and an essential component of our communities and nation; and

WHEREAS, only public education guarantees universal and equitable access to education for all children; and

WHEREAS, public education is a vehicle for the transfer of knowledge, citizenship, and opportunity from one generation to the next; and

WHEREAS, viewing education primarily as an engine of economic development fails to recognize the intrinsic value of education as an end in itself; and

WHEREAS, when education is principally valued in a marketplace context it converts students into assets and liabilities, instead of empowered, critically thinking citizens; and

WHEREAS, education policies focused on economic development and test-based accountability are political tools used by state and federal legislators to absolve themselves of responsibility for the pervasive effects of poverty and institutional racism; and

WHEREAS, the movement by state and federal policy makers toward privatization represents fiduciary irresponsibility, the divestiture of publicly developed assets, an abdication of moral responsibility, and an unwillingness to govern; and

WHEREAS, President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Betsy DeVos to serve as the United States Secretary of Education, a candidate with no public school experience as a parent, educator, or administrator, who has exhibited contempt for public education, who has promoted policies that transfer public funds to private enterprise, and has a history of trading personal wealth for public influence; and

WHEREAS, it is Mrs. DeVos’s stated mission to divert public funds to religious schools, which violates the First Amendment of the United States Constitution; and

WHEREAS, Mrs. DeVos is profoundly unfit and unqualified to serve as the United States Secretary of Education;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Education of the New Paltz Central School District vows to actively and forcefully oppose policies and elected or appointed policy makers that stray from the true spirit of public education; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board of Education of the New Paltz Central School District hereby opposes the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as United States Secretary of Education and calls upon Senator Charles Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and the entire United States Senate to reject her confirmation to this office; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board of Education of the New Paltz Central School District directs the District Clerk to send a certified copy of this resolution to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand to inform them of this resolution.

Adopted by the Board of Education January 18, 2017

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