Contact Senator Toomey Now

We are urging everyone to call Senator Pat Toomey's officer and encourage him to vote against the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. Senator Toomey is getting a ton of pressure to vote no. Groups have been flooding his offices in person and the phone lines have been totally tied up. He is feeling the heat. We need to keep the pressure on. The more calls he gets, the more he might reconsider supporting her. If you cannot get through to one office, please call another. Here are the phone numbers:

Washington, D.C. (202) 224-4254

Philadelphia (215) 241-1090

Pittsburgh (412) 803-3501

Scranton (570) 941-3540

Johnstown (814) 266-5970

Harrisburg (717) 782-3951

Allentown/Lehigh Valley (610) 434-1444

Erie (814) 453-3010

As a reminder, the Office of Government Ethics identified 102 conflicts of interest due to DeVos' sizable investments in companies that receive funding or payment from the Department of Education. At yesterday's meeting, Senator Alexander indicated that DeVos has agreed that she will divest herself from these holdings. Here is a list of just some of the investments:

  • A holding company that invests in Performant Business Services, Inc., which the Education Department hires to collect defaulted federal student loans;
  • A company that provides parking payment services to colleges and universities;
  • A financial services company that "specializes in public school and governmental employee benefit plans";
  • An investment between $500,001 and $1 million in KinderCare Education, formerly Knowledge Universe Education, which is a provider of day care and early childhood education programs;
  • An "early stage venture fund" that invests in a software developer for school athletics and in a developer of interactive digital textbooks for college students;
  • A holding company which provides cloud-based learning services for special education;
  • A holding company which provides laundry equipment for colleges and universities and apartments; and
  • An investment in West Michigan Aviation Academy, the charter school that the DeVos' founded and have funded.

DeVos has no public education experience. Hundreds of students and alumni from Calvin College, the Christian school that is DeVos' alma mater, have signed a letter saying they oppose her nomination because DeVos has a lack of experience and commitment to public education and a lack of support for public funding to support federal policies. The senators voicing support for her yesterday just reiterated that she has cares about children. How do they know? They cited the many education related organizations she has been a part of, even though those organizations support charter schools and vouchers. Also, they argued that she should be supported because she is extremely wealthy and could have spent her funds elsewhere but chose to be involved in education issues. Senator Alexander kept stating that DeVos was subjected to far more questions than previous nominees, including himself, when they went before the committee. Those objecting to her confirmation indicated that her conflicts have not been fully vetted, and her responses to the questions did not satisfy their concern.

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