Unprecedented Bipartisan Public Outcry Denies Administration a Mandate to Take Over Public Schools
Contacts: Claudia Briggs at 916-296-4087 or Mike Myslinski at 408-921-5769
LOS ANGELES – The following statement can be attributed to CTA President Eric Heins on behalf of more than 325,000 educators and students:
“The confirmation of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Education Secretary is yet another blow to our nation, most pointedly at the millions of students who come to our public schools each and every day. The administration could not have picked someone less qualified than DeVos—a billionaire businesswoman who knows nothing about what goes on in our public schools. All she sees are dollar signs, not students from all walks of life, seeking a public education which is the most basic civil right.
“Make no mistake this confirmation in no way means the DeVos-Trump education agenda will be imposed without a struggle. On the contrary, the bipartisan public outcry denies President Trump and DeVos any mandate to take over our public schools. The millions of Americans who came together, some who reached out to their Senators, walked, called, and emailed for the very first time, care deeply about public education and remain committed to take on the challenges that lie ahead. It’s that solidarity that gives us strength to forge ahead on behalf of our students.
“We sincerely appreciate the public outcry of support from educators, students, parents, civil rights and special education advocates in sending a strong, collective message to the White House that we’re watching, we’re active and we aren’t going anywhere. We’ll be there to reject any schemes to take money away from public schools and give it to private schools or corporate charter schools. Please join us by taking the pledge to ensure all California students receive the public education they need and deserve.”
California’s educators sent tens of thousands of emails to U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris who opposed the DeVos confirmation. And nationally, more than one million letters were sent and more than 80,000 phone calls were made to senators in Washington. From across the country this was part of an extensive educator effort that involved a major protest in Los Angeles, Jan. 28 with 800 educators and another in San Jose, Feb. 4 with more than 1,100. Educators also approved a resolution demanding the public education all students deserve and invite Californians to take the pledge to ensure all students can succeed.
The 325,000-member California Teachers Association is affiliated with the 3 million-member National Education Association.