Ohio Public Education Leaders Slam Betsy DeVos and Donald Trump’s Threatened Cuts to Schools
COLUMBUS — Ahead of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s virtual visit to Ohio today to speak with the Federalist Society, the Ohio Democratic Party held a Zoom roundtable with public education leaders to push back on the Trump administration’s failed coronavirus response and their threats to take away resources from schools that don’t reopen fully.
“I guess two words come to mind: callous and clueless. Secretary DeVos’s comments about just utterly disregarding the health and safety threat that reopening schools without clear public health guidance imposes was actually pretty shocking.
“The fact that she doesn’t, unlike us, she doesn’t care about the health and safety of students in school, but also the teachers and educational support professionals, their families and communities. We know that if the opening of the schools isn’t done right, it’s going to be a disaster.”
“We have been for months working on reopening plans. I find it offensive that Betsy DeVos has indicated that districts are trying to find ways not to educate students. The fact of the matter is, we’ve had no guidance from a federal level on how to reopen schools. In the absence of that guidance, educators have been working diligently for long hours to try to figure out how to do this on their own, and I may add, do it without the resources to do it properly.
“So when she puts that kind of rhetoric out there in the public, what we are concerned about is that it’s going to pressure districts into making decisions based upon finances, rather than based upon the safety and well-being of students and teachers.”
“We know that the majority of funding from the Department of Education goes towards programs that benefit disadvantaged students and students with disabilities. As a school board member, it’s really troubling that they are threatening to cut funding to programs that help some of our students with the greatest need. You know, in times like these, my personal belief is that we need to increase public school funding instead, not cut.”
“Betsy DeVos refused to give a straight answer on whether students and teachers will not get coronavirus when schools reopen, and she’s simply throwing away and disregarding CDC guidance on how to safely open schools. I think ultimately that this decision and the way that they’re operating is pretty reckless.”
WCMH: Back-to-school debate
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