Protest,Teacher,Education,United States Senate,Betsy DeVos

Teachers, parents, kids protest DeVos education nomination ahead of Senate vote

January 30, 2017
in Kids

By Alejandra Matos, (c) 2017, The Washington Post WASHINGTON – A crowd of teachers, parents and children gathered near the U.S. Capitol on Sunday to protest Betsy DeVos’s nomination to be education secretary, calling the Michigan billionaire a threat to public education and urging the Senate to reject her. Using drums and noisemakers, the group of protesters chanted “Toss DeVos!” “Betsy is a threat-sy” and “A, B, C, D, E, F, G, Betsy DeVos is not for me.” Similar protests took place over the weekend in Portland, Nashville and Holland, Michigan, DeVos’ hometown. The protests came ahead of the Senate education committee’s vote on DeVos’ confirmation, which is scheduled for Tuesday morning. DeVos has spent most of the past three decades using her wealth to advocate for the expansion of taxpayer-funded voucher programs and charter schools and has characterized public schools as a “dead end,” and she has drawn a passionate opposition from teachers’ unions and public school advocates. DeVos has become one of President Donald Trump’s most controversial cabinet picks, in large part because of her stumbles on basic education policy during her Jan. 17 confirmation hearing. Under questioning from Democratic senators, DeVos declined to say that she wouldn’t privatize public schools, declined to commit to aggressively pursuing sexual assault cases at colleges, appeared confused about federal law protecting students with disabilities and said she opposes a ban on guns in schools, citing an example of a rural school that might need a gun to protect against “potential grizzlies” – a comment that has elicited scorn and late-night television show ridicule. Some protesters on Sunday, including Caitlin Davies, a 30-year-old special education teacher in Arlington, Virginia, attended to stand up for...

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