Betsy DeVos faced widespread disapproval before her confirmation as education secretary — and now that she’s been on the job for three months, her critics say their concerns about her have been realized.
Veteran educator Patrick Kearney wrote an open letter to DeVos, published by the Huffington Post, to object to her policies and performance so far.
“You’ve now been the Secretary of Education for a few months and I have to say, we’ve moved from being freaked out to understanding that you are who we thought you were,” Kearney wrote.
The longtime teacher criticized her first budget for the Department of Education, which eliminates $1.2 billion from after-school programs that serve 1.6 million children, as well as cutting $27 million in arts education and $12 million for Special Olympics programs.
The education budget also does away with a program that offers loan forgiveness as an incentive for teachers to work in underserved rural communities.
“Your budget seems to try to surmise that schools are wasting money by providing safe places to go after school, giving young people the opportunity to create art, and supporting special education students,” Kearney wrote.
He pointed out that those cuts are accompanied by increased funding for charter schools and voucher programs.
“Who are you serving?” Kearney wrote. “Your proposed budget would suggest that your interest is in diverting dollars away from programs that directly impact young people and putting those dollars into the pockets of those who would like to make a profit in the business of educating our young people.”
“In no universe does your budget make public schools better for the students who need them the most,” he added.