Over the past few weeks, President Donald Trump’s selections for his cabinet members have come under scrutiny, especially that of Betsy DeVos, who was nominated to be the new Secretary of Education.
On Jan. 2, students and faculty at Youngstown State University, as well as other members of the community, gathered together to voice their displeasure with the nomination of DeVos.
DeVos is a billionaire from Michigan and heads American Federation for Children, a non-profit organization that supports charter schools and voucher programs. She also served as the chair of the Michigan Republican Party.
However, she lacks experience in the education realm. She’s in favor of charter schools, loosening the regulations on the nation’s school system and the privatization of public schools.
Private schools only teach nine percent of K-12 students, compared to the 91 percent who are educated via federally funded public school systems. If the structure and funding of these schools are removed, the vast majority of American youth will not get a proper education.
Public schools also help combat childhood hunger. Most K-12 schools offer a free or reduced lunch program to their students, ensuring that kids in vital stages of development get enough nutrients to promote brain and body growth.
Privatizing education completely goes against Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a document created by the United Nations and housed within the International Bill of Human Rights, which states:
“Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit. Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
On Tuesday, the Senate voted on Devos and the Secretary of Education position. After the Senate was tied 50-to-50, Vice President Mike Pence voted in favor of Devos to break the tie.
Those in the education field have been voicing their opinions loud and clear: DeVos is not qualified or wanted in this position. Does President Trump know enough about public education to appoint someone who can run it?
Educators around the nation have been begging the government for more funding, better books and safer classrooms. All of these things have been denied.
They have also spent their money to buy classroom supplies, spent their time tutoring students after class and spent years fighting so future generations can have it better.
Now, they are fighting to get rid of DeVos. If all of their other pleas go unheard, please listen to this one. Teachers and professors only want the best for the kids they educate. They prove that every day.
If DeVos isn’t good for public education, give her the boot.
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