Day: <span>February 8, 2017</span>

DeVos’ confirmation spurs anti-voucher fight in Texas


Some of the more avid Texas supporters of Betsy DeVos, the most unqualified person ever to become U.S. Secretary of Education, include Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick – who consistently put ideology over what’s best for public school children – and Randan Steinhauser.

Steinhauser heads the latest pro-voucher, pro-education savings accounts, pro-school privatization interest group in Texas. She used to work for DeVos in Washington at the American Federation for Children , a national pro-privatization organization. Now she is working hand-in-hand with Patrick and Abbott in Texas to weaken our public schools and turn our centers of learning and opportunity for all children into profit centers for a handful of education profiteers.

In a comment quoted in the Rivard Report, Steinhauser blamed “outrage” from “teacher’s unions” for the difficult battle DeVos faced in winning Senate confirmation. She was wrong.

Yes, millions of teachers, superintendents and other educators are outraged over DeVos’ blatant lack of qualifications and outright hostility toward public education. But so are millions of parents and other Americans who truly value public schools and the critical role they play in their children’s futures.

Although they certainly helped – and proudly so — teachers alone didn’t overload telephones and clog email in-boxes in U.S. Senate offices. And teachers alone didn’t fight the privatization forces to a 50-50 deadlock in the Senate, where the vice president cast a first-ever vote to break a tie on a Cabinet confirmation.

Texas educators, parents and others who value our public schools too much to allow would-be profiteers to destroy them should be energized by DeVos’ confirmation fight.

Keep contacting your state legislators and demand they vote against vouchers and other school privatization schemes. If you need to, click on the link below and fill in your home address to find out who your state representative and state senator are. Then call or email them and ask your friends and colleagues to do the same. The fight for Texas public schools is far from over.