Press Release

AFT President Randi Weingarten on Nomination of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education

For Release: 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Contact:

Greg Greene
(404) 808-0329
ggreene@aft.org

WASHINGTON—In response to President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Betsy DeVos to lead the Department of Education, AFT President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement:

“The president-elect, in his selection of Betsy DeVos, has chosen the most ideological, anti-public education nominee put forward since President Carter created a Cabinet-level Department of Education. 

“In nominating DeVos, Trump makes it loud and clear that his education policy will focus on privatizing, defunding and destroying public education in America. 

“DeVos has no meaningful experience in the classroom or in our schools. The sum total of her involvement has been spending her family’s wealth in an effort to dismantle public education in Michigan. Every American should be concerned that she would impose her reckless and extreme ideology on the nation. 

“We have an obligation to all children in America. That’s why we’ve fought to ensure that struggling schools get fixed, that we fight for kids to have the powerful learning, the social and emotional and wraparound services, and the great teachers they need. That’s why we fight for parents to have the voice they need and communities throughout the country to have the local decision-making for their schools and the investment they need, so we do everything we can to help all children have a great public education. What this pick means is far from ensuring that every child has the option of a great public education—the many who have it now will lose it. That’s been the experience of 25 years of privatizing: It helps very few, and many students now go to schools that have faced years of austerity and disinvestment. 

“Betsy DeVos is everything Donald Trump said is wrong in America—an ultra-wealthy heiress who uses her money to game the system and push a special-interest agenda that is opposed by the majority of voters. Installing her in the Department of Education is the opposite of Trump’s promise to drain the swamp.” 

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The AFT represents 1.6 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.