Policymakers – like DeVos supporter Bill Schuette – must
Value Students, Respect Educators, and Fund Our Schools
EAST LANSING – Delegates to the MEA Representative Assembly voted unanimously last weekend on a Vote of No Confidence in U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
“Betsy DeVos is antithetical to everything we as educators stand for,” said Michael Adamisin, the Oak Park teacher who submitted the new business item for consideration. He previously worked at a for-profit Detroit-area charter school with greater than 50 percent annual staff turnover.
During the vote, delegates stood cheering and waving sheets of yellow paper containing the rationale for a no-confidence vote. Many expressed frustration and embarrassment in DeVos as a Secretary of Education from their home state who, in addition to being extremely unqualified, is a long-time advocate of for-profit charter schools, vouchers and policies that undermine local neighborhood schools.
“Despite occupying her position for a year, recent public statements made by Mrs. DeVos have reaffirmed her gross incompetence…as well as her continued ignorance over the performance of public schools (typically strong yet underfunded) and charter or private schools (erratic with reduced accountability),” the statement said.
DeVos’ disastrous performance last month on CBS News’ 60 Minutes drew widespread criticism – with the notable exception of Michigan Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Bill Schuette, who tweeted his support for DeVos as a “Great Secy (sic) of Education.” According to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, Schuette has accepted $122,800 in political contributions from the DeVos family since 2010.
“Students and educators alike deserve better than politicians like Betsy DeVos and Bill Schuette,” said MEA President Paula Herbart. “We need to value students and respect educators by focusing on proven solutions that deliver success – and we need to fund our schools to an adequate and equitable level. Our students deserve no less – and we need to demand no less out of the leaders we elect this coming November.”
Contact: Doug Pratt, MEA Director of Public Affairs, 517-337-5508