LETTER TO THE EDITOR: DeVos is for education

Darin HammondFeb 16, 2017

It was one of the first White House events for DeVos - a MI billionaire, school reform advocate and former state Republican Party chairman - since her confirmation a week ago on a tie-breaking vote in the U.S. Senate case by Vice President Mike Pence. Recently, she was greeted by barricade of protesters outside a school in Washington D.C.

Additionally, Vice President Mike Pence had to cast the tie-breaking vote, which has never happened for a Cabinet secretary position before.

The visit itself was closed to the news media, and the Education Department had no immediate comment about the protest.

"My hopes are very limited", Phillippo said. Her steadfast belief in school vouchers will result in DeVos likely withdrawing Federal Title I funds (resources reserved for public schools) and placing them with public/private options. Wouldn't it be nice if people with average incomes could send their children to good schools?

DeVos's nomination was on thin ice after two GOP senators announced they couldn't support her.

The Michigan-native billionaire said she plans to push for expanded school choice around the country, as she did in her hometown.

Secretary DeVos has defended the right of parents to choose the learning environment that's best for their children. Because charter schools are based on student performance, and stay open based on that performance, they have the possible freedom to be exclusionary to students with disabilities or low-income students, just because those students may not perform at the same level as their peers. "Yet, too many parents are denied access to the full range of options". "As we work to resolve this issue, information regarding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act can be found below", the note reads.

Mrs. DeVos noted that the attendees at the White House meeting represented "traditional public schools, charter public schools, home schools, private schools - a range of choices".

"The confirmation of DeVos is a scary thing to think about because she has no experience with the public school system". However, unlike public schools, charter schools accept public money without the same oversight as public schools. It makes us what it is.

These students are our neighbors and we are a part of their community.

Let me add that there was considerable plagiarizing on her written answers to Senators' questions.

Don't get me wrong.

Despite the widespread disapproval for DeVos, Donnelly said she plans to remain optimistic.

"I think you can have accountability without mandating so much of what has to be done", Seebeck said. "If not, teachers are stubborn and we're going to do what's best for the kids, and if it means we have to fight back, we'll fight back".

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