January 17, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Washington, DC – Accusing Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education of working to undermine and privatize public schools, the nation’s two main teachers unions are mobilizing members to call and email their senators and urge them to block her confirmation.
“Betsy DeVos is not qualified, and even more than unqualified, Betsy DeVos is an actual danger to students—especially our most vulnerable students,” said National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen Garcia. “She has made a career trying to destroy neighborhood public schools.” American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said Jan. 9 that Trump has “chosen the most anti-public-education nominee in the history of the department.” DeVos, a Michigan billionaire, has been one of the nation’s top advocates of charter schools and taxpayer-funded vouchers for private and religious schools, and has contributed heavily to Republican political candidates she believes will help break “labor’s monopolistic stranglehold on public education.” In the last two elections, according to federal records analyzed by the Washington Post, she and her relatives gave more than $800,000 to 20 of the 52 current Republican senators. Read more