Mr. President, why appoint a 100% private education advocate to run the Department of Education? I know the Cabinet at large was looking too white and too male, but surely you could have found someone who thinks public education is important today and in our future. Whether competent or not, it would at least look better.
To our Senators from Kansas, one of whom has already approved her for confirmation in a committee vote, a reminder that Kansans of all political stripes support public education. If you vote for her on the floor of the Senate, which is a choice you have, don’t ever come back to Kansas and say you support public education, because you don’t.
Kansas school districts have unique challenges, and federal support can play a role in addressing them. Yes, most of the responsibility for public schools is with the states and local school districts, as it should be. But there are key areas where the input and resources can make a difference, like with the Junction City school system for example where the presence of Fort Riley brings additional challenges. The same goes for our rural school districts as well. Also, because education is so critical to our nation’s future, it makes total sense that there be a national leadership role, not just monitoring but helping lead reform measures to improve the system nationwide.
Ms. DeVos is as pure a private education advocate as one could find anywhere in the United States. Her only experience at any level is with private schools. In addition, she is a strong supporter of having guns in our schools, and when asked for her reasoning, she said you never know when a grizzly bear might show up in the classroom. Well, I’d encourage her to listen to what teachers have to say on this issue and many others. I have a feeling most would agree that DeVos herself poses a much greater threat to our schools than grizzly bear attacks do.
What I suspect, and fear, is that this is just the first move toward abolishing the Department of Education. If she’s confirmed, it will not surprise me at all if Ms. DeVos finds all sorts of “problems” with the Department and “reluctantly” comes to the President recommending it be shut down. The future of “education for all” is directly at stake in this upcoming vote. Every Senate Democrat and two Republicans have already agreed to vote “no.” Will there be others who join them to stand up for public education?
The number to the Congressional Switchboard is (202) 225-3121. Your engagement could make the difference.