Teachers Union Mourns 'Sad Day for Children'

Posted: Feb 07, 2017 3:15 PM

Almost as soon as Vice President Mike Pence cast the historic vote to confirm Betsy DeVos as the new education secretary, teachers unions predicted doom for the schoolchildren of America.

“If she wants to work with the educators who work hard every single day—in districts as diverse as McDowell County, W.Va., Detroit, and Scarsdale, N.Y.—to provide children the opportunities they deserve, we renew our invitation to have her visit America’s public schools and see the strategies that work for kids,” Randi Weingarten said in a statement after the vote.

“But it’s more likely we’ll now hear the same trashing of public schools that the disrupters, the privatizers and the austerity hawks have used for the last two decades. That makes this a sad day for children.”

Democrats stayed up all night trying to derail DeVos' nomination and her school choice agenda. They even won over two Republicans, yet the 50-50 tie simply meant Vice President Pence had to take a quick trip to Capitol Hill to cast the deciding vote.  

Weingarten did note, however, that thanks to DeVos' confirmation public education advocates are more engaged than ever. 

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) does not share the teachers unions' concerns. On the Senate floor Monday night, he refuted claims that DeVos would act as an educational dictator and reminded his colleagues that they would get the final word on school choice programs. He later went on Twitter to note how thousands of schools were underperforming and he is willing to give DeVos a chance to turn them around.