Earlier this week Senate confirmation hearings took place for Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to lead the U.S. Department of Education.
How should people of faith who care about our nation’s most vulnerable students think about her nomination? We’ve got you covered.
Hope for Students stands with our allies at The Expectations Project and more than a dozen prominent Christian leaders who have launched a petition on Change.org outlining four faith-rooted principles for evaluating our leaders in the coming years. It’s called The Matthew 25 Declaration on Public Education.
You can play a critical role in ensuring these principles reach in the incoming Administration and Education Secretary by taking a minute (right now) to read the Declaration, and if you agree, add your voice and share the petition within your networks. Join us in praying for our leaders and holding them accountable.
Matthew 25 Declaration on Public Education
As Americans and Christians, we believe God stands on the side of the most vulnerable, those who Jesus called “the least of these” in Matthew 25. We agree with the biblical prophets who taught that the moral test of a nation is in the justice and equity it extends to all its people. This is true worship.
Universal public education is a critical pathway to fulfilling this promise. Our public schools play a foundational role in the formation of our nation’s students, not only as future participants in the global economy but as good neighbors and empowered, informed citizens.
Perhaps more importantly, a high-quality public education is indispensable to the moral imperative of ensuring all children have an equal opportunity at achieving their God-given potential regardless of their zip code, money their parents make, or color of their skin.
Our nation is falling short of this promise. Stubborn and extreme disparities persist in our public schools, a burden that disproportionately falls on families and students from communities of color, and reflects a painful history of structured racial inequality.
With the advent of a new Administration we resolve to hold ourselves, and our nation’s leaders, accountable to the following principles rooted in our Christian faith:
1) All God’s children should have access to a high-quality public education. We will support policies aimed at expanding educational opportunities and improving academic outcomes for all our nation’s students, especially the most vulnerable.
2) Budgets are moral documents, revealing our nation’s true values and priorities. We urge our leaders to draw a circle of protection around programs designed to benefit our nation’s most vulnerable students and will defend these programs when threatened.
3) Our nation’s leaders are important moral role models, and their example is often followed and emulated by our youngest citizens. Acts of bullying, misogyny and bigotry are a violation of Christian values and represent a dangerous coarsening of our culture.
4) We stand in solidarity with students from communities that are particularly vulnerable in our nation today — immigrants, refugees, young people of color, religious minorities, and others — and will resist all policies that further marginalize them.
We urge the new Administration, Secretary of Education and Congress to give moral priority to these principles as they seek the welfare of our nation’s most vulnerable students. This is our calling as followers of Jesus, and we will strive to be faithful in carrying out this mission.