Public School Advocates Give Education Secretary Betsy Devos Low Marks for Her First Year in Office

DALLAS (WBAP/KLIF News) – Public school advocates in North Texas gave low marks to Education Secretary Betsy Devos as this week marked her first year on the job.

The group “Our Community, Our Schools”, made up of parents and teachers, held a picket event outside the Thomas A. Edison Middle School Learning Center Monday morning to criticize Devos and Senator Don Huffines for what they said is an inadequate funding of public schools.

Member Rena Honey said Devos has built a career our of defunding vital public school programs.

“Programs that support after-school programs. Community schools, arts and things that are really helpful in our low-income areas,” she said.

The group also highlighted what it said was the rolling back of efforts to improve the education for millions of students, particularly those of color and from low-income families.

Devos has come under fire from teachers nationwide for her support of charter schools, private school vouchers and other “school choice” programs.

“Our Community, Our Schools” said the expansion of charter schools and funneling tax dollars into private school vouchers will starve public schools of funding and lead to possible school closures in Dallas.

The group said it also gave low marks to Senator Don Huffines, who serves on the Senate Education Committee and supported HB 1842, which led to the recent vote by Dallas ISD Trustees to make changes at 4 campuses.

The bill allows the state to step in and close a school or take over a campus or district after several years of low test scores.

School districts in San Antonio, Waco and Houston are also considering changes to their schools as a result of HB 1842.

While Devos also received criticism for rolling back student financial aid system regulations that were put in place by the Obama administration to protect student borrowers, her department did implement a bipartisan initiative to help low and moderate-income college students get year round access to Pell grants.

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