February 8, 2017
By Joe Loverde
Reprinted: NEW YORK TEACHER
New York, NY - UFT delegates on January 18 voted to launch a #PublicSchoolProud campaign to champion the city’s public schools in preparation for the attacks expected to be unleashed by Betsy DeVos, Trump’s pick to lead the U.S. Education Department.
“People love their neighborhood public schools and want them to be protected,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew told the delegates. “We want to showcase all the great things we do.”
It’s a strategy the union hopes will be replicated across the country to stop the Trump administration from tearing apart public education.
The Delegate Assembly took place the day after DeVos’ Senate confirmation hearing. “All I know from the hearing is she says it’s OK to bring guns to school, she doesn’t know the difference between growth and proficiency, and she doesn’t know what’s going on in special education,” Mulgrew said.
DeVos told the senators at the hearing she believes school funding should follow the child, whether to a public, charter or private school. Her critics say such federally funded voucher programs would quickly torpedo the funding structure of public schools.
Mulgrew said DeVos has used her vast wealth to advocate for private-school vouchers and for-profit charter schools in her home state of Michigan. Michigan has become filled with charter schools “that have no accountability, no transparency and no regulations” and student achievement has plummeted as a result, he said.