L.A. Unified Board President Steve Zimmer’s Statement on the Education Secretary

Feb. 7, 2017

I stand in solidarity with parents, teachers and civil rights leaders across this nation as Vice President Mike Pence pushed through Betsy DeVos' nomination today in Washington. I stand with the Democratic Senate leaders and our two brave Republican allies, who stayed up through the night to remind a nation of how important public education is to our children’s dreams. This unprecedented nomination fight, with the vice president casting this deciding vote, is a testimony to the power of organizing, and a reminder that our voices matter.

This uprising against DeVos is much bigger than one nomination fight. It is about a struggle over the soul of public education, and it is about the values of our nation. I strongly opposed this nomination, and I pledge myself today to resist any, and all, policies of this administration and this department that do not support the dreams of every child, every family, every teacher and every community that depend on our public schools for the preservation of democracy.

Today, we move from opposition to resistance. And we also commit to uplift a different narrative about our public schools. It is a narrative of hope and possibility that I see as I visit L.A. Unified schools each day.

Let me assure our L.A. Unified family, and the broader Los Angeles community that nothing  changes with today’s confirmation. Our District’s public schools will continue to serve every child who comes to our school house door. Our schools will continue to be safe sanctuaries for every child and every family member. Our teachers, principals and school employees will continue to dedicate their lives to making dreams come true through public education. We will fight any and every effort to take much needed federal funding from our children. And we will uphold the values of inclusion, diversity and possibility that build this nation.

Our mission is clear, and it will not change with today's confirmation.


Contact: Claudia Vizcarra (213) 241-6387