Former Madison superintendent Dr. John Sweet thinks billionaire Betsy DeVos is a really bad choice for U.S. Secretary of Education. The retired education expert urges us to write our Senators, especially our Republican Senators, to reject this nomination:
It was the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, that said “Education is the most important subject we can be engaged in.” Free public education for all is a major underpinning of democracy. That underpinning is threatened by the nomination of Betsy DeVos as secretary of education. She wants to institute vouchers, which send public money to private schools. And this could include private schools set up by Islamic extremists. Don’t let the extremists that are taking over our government get by with this. Mail senators, especially Republican senators from the party of Lincoln, urging them to oppose her nomination. You can start the process here [Dr. John Sweet, Facebook post, 2016.11.29].
The idea that the incoming administration would use public dollars to support private schools, all in the name of “choice,” strikes me as absurd. The federal government doesn’t send our tax dollars to rent-a-cop shops to compete with the FBI, state highway patrols, and city police. We don’t hand vouchers to citizens and say, “Here, choose your fire department!” Instead of undermining the government’s obligation to provide one free, fair, and universal public education system by subsidizing a whole nother private system, I’d rather Trump (and his toady Mike Rounds) return to his campaign promise (ha!) to eliminate the Department of Education.
So might my conservative neighbor Dr. Art Marmorstein, who pens his own suspicions about DeVos in my morning paper:
Betsy DeVos, Trump’s nominee for education secretary, seems to have her heart in right place. She’s worked hard to give students and their parents more schooling options. But she’s another of those billionaire charter school advocates, and she may end up using her position to further accelerate the shift from traditional public schools to the charters — much to the disappointment of those of us who want to see the ring of federal education department power cast into the fires of Mount Doom where it belongs [Dr. Art Marmorstein, “Ring of Education Power Dangerous on Any Hand,” Aberdeen American News, 2016.12.01].
Join Drs. Sweet and Marmorstein in opposing Trump’s education agenda. Don’t let the Trumpist regime enrich certain private school players with public dollars. Keep DeVos out of Education, and keep our public dollars in public schools, where they belong.