Below is a press release that was sent out today about tomorrow’s visit by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

FEA: DeVos is not the leader our public schools need

TALLAHASSEE – Florida Education Association (FEA) President Joanne McCall today criticized the scheduled visit Tuesday to Tallahassee by President Trump’s education secretary, Betsy DeVos.

“It’s no surprise that Betsy DeVos will be visiting a private school among her stops in Tallahassee,” McCall said. “She has long shown her opposition to public schools, her support for unfettered vouchers and for-profit charter school chains and her desire to privatize all education in this nation.

McCall noted that before Trump appointed her secretary of education, DeVos had no education experience. She has never worked in a school or school board and neither she nor her children have ever attended a public school.

“DeVos has never committed to the basic premise that all schools that receive public funding should be held to the same standards of accountability,” McCall said. “She’s invested millions in lobbying to drain resources from public schools.”

McCall noted that DeVos led the charge in demolishing public schools in Detroit and the entire state of Michigan, adding that her proposed federal education budget slashes resources for reducing class size, for teacher professional development, for community schools, after-school and summer programs — all to fund tax breaks for the wealthy and increase funding for vouchers.

“Public education is the great equalizer in our democracy,” McCall said. “We give the children of America the opportunity to learn about their world and our democracy, the chance to grow and become better, the chance to learn about others of different backgrounds and the reason to celebrate our nation and all the opportunities it provides. The public schools of our nation – which educate the vast majority of our children, deserve a better advocate than a lobbyist who has spent millions to promote failed private school vouchers and unaccountable for-profit charter schools while working to destabilize and cut funding to public education.”

McCall noted that parents want a neighborhood public school that works for their child, is safe, has adequate resources and small enough class sizes.

“Unfortunately, that’s not the vision DeVos brings to the table,” McCall said. “She sees public schools as failures that need to be turned over to profiteers. We disagree and so do the vast majority of Floridians.”