Betsy DeVos Takes Her Assault on Public Schools Back to the States

Betsy DeVos failed to dismantle public education during her four-year tenure as Donald Trump’s education minister. This is because, despite the determined efforts of the billionaire campaign donor, the federal government is not the primary battleground in the fight for the future of our schools. Most of these major battles take place at the state and local government levels. Now that she is out and about in Washington, DeVos is leading her crusade back to states like Wisconsin – where she and her allies want to exert influence Election on Tuesday as head of state for public education.

You have a choice of a passionate public school attorney. Jill Underlyand a proponent of the voucher programs favored by DeVos and the billionaire donors that have been attacking teachers and the unions they represent for years, Deborah Kerr.

The Wisconsin fight marks the first nationwide test of popular sentiment since Democrat Joe Biden replaced Republican Donald Trump as president, which DeVos moved from the Department of Education. Technically, this is a non-partisan race. In reality, the boundaries are clearly drawn in a state that is one of the nation’s most closely divided political battlefields.

Wisconsin voters will decide a classic battle in which teachers and the unions they are opposed to compete against each other the DeVos-supported American Federation for Children. The association is Underly attack aggressivelyto water over $ 200,000 into an expensive broadcast and digital advertising campaign. At the same time, non-governmental donors who share DeVos’ views have supported Kerr’s campaign, which is endorsed by the former Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, a longtime DeVos ally who has gained national attention for its efforts to cut funding for public education, divert taxpayer money to private schools, and attack teachers’ right to organize in the name of fair wages and improved educational standards.

“In the 2011-2013 state budget, Scott Walker, his political party and their corporate sponsors deliberately took the pressure off our state’s public education system by cutting about $ 1 billion in education, health care and other basic services every year,” recalls Ed Sadlowski , a veteran labor organizer and public education attorney who now serves as the executive director of the teachers union in state capital Madison. “Madison’s public schools are currently funded by state lawmakers at the 2012 (eight year hiatus) level. Public schools in Wisconsin are number one in the nation (for the wrong reasons). The completely outdated public education system in our state continues to be in crisis for black students, as evidenced by the persistent academic performance gap between black students and their white counterparts. “

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