Press Release

AFT President Randi Weingarten Criticizes DeVos Plan for Distribution of CARES Act Funds

For Release:


Oriana Korin

WASHINGTON—Statement of American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the U.S. Department of Education’s announcement that it will create a competition for states to get discretionary Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act money for education:

“Education Secretary Betsy DeVos never misses an opportunity to turn educating our nation’s students into a competition instead of equitably and generously investing in all of our kids’ futures. There are any number of things the Department of Education could try to do: for example, offer guidance on how to help special needs kids, or partner with schools to navigate screening, distancing, hygiene and instruction. But instead of providing any guidance to get kids back to school, the department offers its own version of Race to the Top—this time, a race to privatize.

“DeVos is using what little discretionary money was provided for education in the CARES Act to move full-steam ahead with turning our public schools into online cash cows for her corporate friends and offering families vouchers that divert resources away from the schools that need those resources. Our country’s educators miss their students; they want support and guidance on how to engage and connect with their kids while they remain physically distant and plan for how they can return safely to the physical classroom.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 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.