Hundreds of Coloradans voiced their frustration today with U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visiting Denver this week to speak to ALEC, a council of corporate lobbyists and corporate-friendly politicians who seek to pass education laws across the country that divert public tax dollars to private schools through vouchers and other schemes.
The corporate education agenda being pushed by ALEC and supported by DeVos undermines the efforts of CEA’s member-educators to increase school funding in Colorado, to stop the testing overload still burdening students and educators, and to create accountability and transparency for all public schools.
Educators declare they are everything that DeVos has proven NOT to be: experts in public education who are committed to caring for all students. Rhiannon Wenning, a teacher in Jeffco Public Schools representing the Colorado Education Association, spoke on the west steps of the Capitol at a community rally protesting the DeVos visit.
Secretary DeVos and ALEC threaten our democratic process, public education, and unions; the very institutions that promote justice, liberty, and the common good, Wenning shouted to the community supporters of public schools. Secretary DeVos and ALEC attack us because we are members, allies, and soldiers of these institutions, and we truly care about the needs of our students, educators, and our community.
DeVos arguably remains President Trump’s most controversial cabinet pick for her lack of experience in public education at any level, and for her support of a federal budget proposal that slashes more than $10 billion from vital programs that provide more opportunity for students living in poverty and students of color.
Once public education is taken from you, you no longer have power and that is what is happening here, said State Rep. Joe Salazar, who spoke at the rally with State Sens. Andy Kerr and Michael Merrifield. Betsy DeVos and Democrats for Education Reform and the charter school movement are stripping power from you, and they are doing it knowingly.
The protestors marched from the Capitol to the Hyatt Regency hotel and voiced unwavering support for public schools and students at the place where DeVos is expected to deliver a very different vision tomorrow, one that treats schools as private businesses and sees students as profits.
Douglas County parent Tim Krug told the rally supporters that this failed vision has all but destroyed his once magnificent school district. It’s a sad reality that billionaires like Betsy DeVos can buy off local politicians to literally sell out their communities. Secretary DeVos’ plan to push vouchers and education savings accounts signify a major shift towards privatizing American public education.
CEA members reject a corporate education system destined to create winners and losers across Colorado, and instead work collectively in communities for public schools that deliver the support, tools, and time to learn that all students deserve.
from North Denver News http://northdenvernews.com/protestors-greet-ed-secretary-devos-at-denver-alec-meeting/