This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
Philadelphia City Councilwoman Helen Gym has sent a letter to U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.), a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, asking that the confirmation hearing on Betsy DeVos to be secretary of education be opened up to other voices, especially to those wary that she will accelerate privatization of public schools. DeVos, a strong proponent of charters and vouchers, has drawn opposition from the major teachers’ unions and other public education advocates. "Pennsylvania’s experience provides direct insight into the harmful impact of the failed policies Ms. DeVos has spent her life advancing," Gym’s letter says. "Our state already feels the ill effects of a weak charter law that makes it difficult to close corrupt or poor-performing charter schools." DeVos’ hearing, which was postponed once, is now scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 17.