Mary Mancini, chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party released the following statement following the U.S. Senate committee approval of Betsy DeVos:

“The approval of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education by Sen. Lamar Alexander and the Senate Committee on Health and Education is alarming to Tennesseans, regardless of political affiliation.

Our public education system is essential to the success of our state and it must be led by someone who is qualified to protect it, not by someone like DeVos who refuses to make the necessary and simple pledge to maintain public funding for public schools.

To make this even more distressing, committee chairman Sen. Alexander refuses to address the valid concerns – like DeVos’ lack of experience with public education, her many conflicts of interest, and her close, close ties to the Republican donor class – of the many Tennessee teachers and parents who are contacting him as constituents.

Senator Alexander, the people of Tennessee are watching.”