By Katie Campbell
After facing heavy criticism for her lack of experience and her family’s enormous contributions to the Republican party, newly appointed Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is already receiving pushback from public schools.
Recently DeVos visited the Jefferson Middle School Academy in Washington DC, and was met not only with protesters, but also with untrusting public school teachers.
It’s hard to blame them though, considering DeVos has no professional experience in the public education and is a vocal supporter of alternatives to public schooling.
For many public school teachers, DeVos taking on such an esteemed role is scary since many believe she does not have the proper understanding and experiences to have such a large say in the education system.
DeVos has even admitted that it is possible that her family has donated hundreds of millions to the Republican party. This reflects heavily on the new administration and leaves families and educators alike left to wonder what they can do to stop DeVos’ ideas from being implemented.
The teachers from Jefferson Academy even hit Twitter to let their followers know that they were “about to take her to school.”
This goes to show that although many have very little faith in our new Secretary of Education, there are many educators who are willing to stand up to DeVos. They are committed to bring to her attention the needs of public schools and the children that rely on them. Their objective is to protect the best interests of students, and to fight for all students to achieve the best education possible.
DeVos has also recently said “I’m Betsy DeVos. You may have heard some of the ‘wonderful’ things the mainstream media has called me lately. I, however, pride myself on being called a mother, a grandmother, a life partner, and perhaps the first person to tell Bernie Sanders to his face that there’s no such thing as a free lunch.”
To many this is an upsetting and concerning statement, because for many low income students free lunch may be the only sufficient meal they receive during the day. It is also important not to stigmatize “free lunch” for children in public schools by saying things like “there’s no such thing as free lunch.” Doing this can hurt the self esteem of a child who needs free or reduced-price lunch.
Overall, for many Americans, having a Secretary of Education with little to no professional experience can be unnerving—especially considering that she is a huge supporter of school choice and charter schools, and has made her stance on free lunch for low income students clear.
For those who are interested in learning more about Betsy DeVos and how money affects all aspects of politics, make sure to stop by Democracy Matters meetings on Tuesdays at 6:30p.m. in Quadside!