Some of the most influential teachers unions are setting their sights on driving President Donald Trump -- and his education secretary Betsy DeVos -- from office.
The education secretary has always been deeply unpopular with teachers and public school administrators, but her insistence on reopening public schools during the coronavirus epidemic has ignited a new push to end her tenure one way or another, reported the Washington Post.
“We’re going to go all out,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. “Because this election is about every aspect of our future. We’re in the middle of a pandemic, an economic recession and racial reckoning — all made worse by this administration. We will be out there in as many ways as we can.”
“We’ll make it clear when it comes time to really focusing on the election, who is on whose side and Betsy DeVos is not on kids, families and educators side and she proved that pretty clearly this weekend,” she added.
Opposition to DeVos could fire up teachers -- even those who back Trump -- in November's election.
“We’ve even had members who supported Trump who say, 'Yeah she's pretty bad,'” Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers. “Once DeVos was named, if you’re a teacher I don’t care what your political leanings is — you can’t defend her.”
DeVos was unable to explain how or why schools could safely reopen for the fall as coronavirus cases climb in many areas of the country, and teachers don't have confidence she cares about the safety of educators or students.
“We have so politicized the situation we don’t know who we can trust, and it’s become very clear that we can’t trust her,” said Keri Rodrigues, the president of the National Parents Union. “It’s as if the Trump administration gave her one sentence that she was supposed to stick to: Open the economy by any means necessary. Our lives are not valuable to them at all. We are a means to an end.”