Civil and Human Rights Coalition Condemns Senate HELP Committee for Advancing DeVos Nomination

Education 01.31,17

WASHINGTON—Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement in response to the Senate HELP Committee’s party-line vote recommending Betsy DeVos’ nomination to be U.S. Secretary of Education:

“The Republican majority on the Senate HELP Committee made a critical mistake today. Betsy DeVos is simply unqualified and unprepared to be the nation’s Secretary of Education. Her lack of experience and lack of fluency on current education and civil rights law was clear in her responses to senators’ questions at her confirmation hearing. 

The Department of Education, along with the Department of Justice, is responsible for protecting the civil rights of all students in America. At a time when the majority of public school students in America are children of color or from low-income families, the nation needs a Secretary of Education who has demonstrated a clear commitment to enforcing our education laws and protecting students’ civil rights. 

Betsy DeVos has failed in this regard. She is unfit to serve and, for the sake of our nation’s students, we urge the full Senate to reject Betsy DeVos’ nomination.”

Wade Henderson is the president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit