Statement from the California Federation of Teachers
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, November 23, 2016
We are deeply disappointed but not surprised by the selection of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. The Trump administration is making clear from the outset that it wants to privatize public schools, with less transparency and little accountability.
Ideology is a poor substitute for a quality public education, as we saw for years with the federal No Child Left Behind program. In choosing radical conservative billionaire Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education, Donald Trump is moving in precisely the wrong direction for the students and families of America.
A strident advocate for vouchers, DeVos is all about undermining and defunding public education. If her ideas become federal policy, the hollow promise of vouchers will drain funding from public education, and only the wealthy will be able to afford a quality education.
The appointment of DeVos raises a question: how will California legislators respond to destructive federal education policies? Immigration and climate change are issues we can unify around. But if state legislators support the continued expansion of charter schools, we will have greater disparity, less accountability and our district schools will become the schools of last resort for our communities. This is not what we need.
Our schools need lower class sizes, more enrichment programs, more counselors and all the support services that the children of the 1% receive in their privately run schools. Our kids deserve no less.
The California Federation of Teachers represents 120,000 faculty and school employees in public and private schools and colleges, from early childhood through higher education. It is the statewide affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers. More info: www.cft.org.