Protesters block Devos from from entering public schools

Calvin SaundersFeb 14, 2017

Betsy DeVos, the billionaire Republican and big-time GOP donor who champions charter and private schools, was prevented from entering Jefferson Middle School in Southwest DC when protesters refused to get out of the way for her to use a back stairway. Following the defection of two Republican senators last week, Alaska's Lisa Murkowski and Maine's Susan Collins, Vice President Mike Pence needed to cast the tie-breaking vote, which was unprecedented in Cabinet nominations.

As The Washington Post's Ed O'Keefe reports, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was the first secretary of state nominee in US history to ever have to clear various procedural hurdles before a final confirmation vote.

"A small army of parents, teachers and others around the country who have risen up against DeVos as President Trump's nominee heads toward a breathtakingly close confirmation vote".

Republican senators Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voted against her, fearful that her unqualified support for vouchers and charter schools would undermine support for public schools.

However, Democrats in the Senate are protesting her election, Senators such as Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington ask, "Is this a knowledgeable candidate who understands the federal law?" Arkansas now has a voucher program allowing special education students to use state education dollars as tuition at a private school, and House Bill 1222, now pending fiscal-impact study in the Legislature, would allow the same opportunity to any school-aged child in Arkansas.

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DeVos stirred up opposition after she announced her support of school vouchers, which would give families taxpayer dollars to pick schools of their choice.

We want education to unite us as Americans, not divide us.

Some of the infuriated replies pointed out that many public schools couldn't afford supplies, causing most teachers to spend their own money to purchase them.

Keep in mind, the job entails having control over part of financial aid, public schools and universities, as well as authority in advising the president in programs and policies regarding education. The Obama administration was micromanaging them to death and Congress intervened, but there is far more to do and she will likely help do it.

Neither DeVos nor her daughter have ever applied for federal aid, meaning that DeVos will be in charge of something she has likely never seen before entering office.

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And she's pointedly started her tenure by embracing minority education. She has devoted her life to giving poor children possibilities denied them by too many public schools flunking their duties.

"(School choice) could ultimately destabilize the American public school system.

Charter schools indeed can be a good alternative to public schools that are failing - and big cities are full of them. But even those without kids in school should know how to get involved in their local school communities in order to protect them moving forward.

In one of the most disheartening developments in an extremely disheartening few weeks, the massively unqualified non-educator Betsy DeVos was sworn in as Secretary Of Education on Tuesday.

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