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AFT's Weingarten: DeVos Is 'Grave Threat' to Public Education

Image: AFT's Weingarten: DeVos Is 'Grave Threat' to Public Education

Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence (AP Photo)

By    |   Thursday, 01 Dec 2016 09:48 AM

Donald Trump's choice of Betsy DeVos for education secretary poses a "grave threat" to public education, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten wrote in the New York Daily News.

DeVos is a school-choice and voucher advocate who has been a driving force behind the rise of charter schools in Michigan.

DeVos "is the most ideological, anti-public-school nominee for secretary of education since the U.S. Department of Education was created," Weingarten wrote.

"It's not surprising that Trump and DeVos, both billionaires who never attended or sent their children to public schools, fail to understand the importance of public education in fostering pluralism and opportunity. But it is deeply troubling."

Trump tapped DeVos last week, calling her a "brilliant and passionate education advocate."

Trump nemesis Jeb Bush lauded the move as an "outstanding pick," further saying "her allegiance is to families, particularly those struggling at the bottom of the economic ladder, not to an outdated public education model that has failed them from one generation to the next."

Not so, DeVos has a track record of doing just the opposite, Weingarten wrote.

"How can DeVos protect and reassure our LGBTQ students when her family has poured money into campaigns against marriage equality and so-called gay conversion therapy efforts?" Weingarten wrote.

"How does she do that for students of color, when she has been a prime mover of education policies that have destabilized the schools in high-poverty school districts that serve large numbers of black and brown students?"

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Donald Trump's choice of Betsy DeVos for education secretary poses a "grave threat" to public education, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten wrote in the New York Daily News.
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