Teachers Union Urges Resistance to DeVos & “Cruel” Education Budget
The national teachers union American Federation of Teachers (AFT) continues to “sound the alarm” on U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
In a strongly worded call to action email, AFT President Randi Weingarten labels Secretary DeVos as a “public school denier” and someone who “doesn’t care.”
Weingarten then goes after the Trump-DeVos budget proposal and urges readers to join forces with the union and “oppose this cruel and catastrophic budget.”
The Trump-DeVos budget is manifestly cruel to children and catastrophic to public schools, while being a windfall for those who want to profit off of children or make education a commodity.
The union president’s loaded language is present throughout the entire message.
Nobody who understands the importance of meal programs, after-school programs, access to a gym after school, and the availability of a therapist to help kids with depression and anxiety, would propose cuts so staggering and harmful.
Make no mistake, we will fight for America’s children against a federal budget proposal whose cruelty is matched only by its callousness.
The main body of the email blast echoes AFT’s press release, highlighting the “hypocrisy” embedded in the budget proposal. (Read a summary of the 2018 Education Budget here.)
While Trump and DeVos chose private schools for their children, with small class sizes, they want to eliminate the federal funding that helps America’s public schools lower class sizes.
While Trump and DeVos can afford whatever their children and grandchildren need or want, and while Ivanka Trump got $19 billion for her parental leave project, the budget completely zeros out all current federal programs that keep millions of poor children safe and well-fed in after-school and summer programs.
Trump says there is nothing more important than being a teacher, but he eliminates the loan forgiveness program that helps students pursue teaching careers, eliminates funding for teacher preparation and educator support, and guts most other programs that alleviate student debt or make college more affordable.
Trump says vocational education is the way of the future yet slashes career and technical education funding.
DeVos promised not to hurt children with special needs, but the budget cuts one-quarter of the Medicaid funding that now pays for essential school-based services like physical therapists, feeding tubes and other medical equipment, and health screenings.
AFT’s president actively spoke out against DeVos after she was both nominated and confirmed as secretary and remains one of her chief critics.
The resistance DeVos has faced confirms her biggest fight for educational choice is against well-funded unions who oppose anyone that threatens their political power.