By Jamie Black, Business Manager
Shortly after his inauguration on Jan. 20, Donald Trump officially nominated Betsy DeVos as the Secretary of Education.
DeVos, a former Michigan state chair of the Republican National Committee, has only received private school education and so have her children, so she doesn’t have any experience in the realm of public education, and, therefore, she can’t relate to it.
Students who attend private schools like DeVos and her children have a privilege when it comes to schooling. The education might be equivalent, greater or lesser, but, regardless, private schools are capable of spending more money on buying computers for every student, funding clubs and other school activities because of the high tuition.
Not only has DeVos never attended a public school, but she hasn’t even taught a single class, private or public. DeVos has no clue what it is like to be a public school student or teacher, and as she hasn’t experienced it, she can’t fully relate to the issues or benefits that teachers and students alike see in public education. Why put someone in charge if she can’t understand a large part of her job?
Mr. Thomas, Mr. King and any other staff member at our school (or any other school) is more qualified than DeVos. Not only is DeVos unable to relate and is unqualified, she is also blind to how much public school teachers go through for their students.
CNS News, a group DeVos is reportedly aligned with, published an article discussing how public school teachers are “overpaid.” In Florida, according to the Florida Department of Education, the average teacher salary in 2012-13 was $46,583.
If DeVos truly believes that public school teachers are paid too much, there will be a big shortage of teachers if DeVos acts on her beliefs.
When asking teachers what they hate about their job, many will tell you the small amount of pay. If DeVos decides to cut teachers’ salaries and still expects them to happily do the same quality of work as before, then her thinking is very wrong.
Honestly, if I was a teacher working a 40-hour week and having to do additional work at home, possibly hours of work, for a minimal pay, I would be finding myself a new job or doing my job poorly. No good teacher is going to stick around with a salary cut, which would leave public schools without ideal teachers.
With fewer well-educated teachers who care about their students, students in public schools won’t do well. A school like ours would fail to exist, and any public school student would probably have a horrible education, leaving students to join private or charter schools to receive a good education.
Maybe that is what DeVos wants, the demise of public schools; it wouldn’t be a stretch based off her strong dislike of public schools, or at least the ones that aren’t “great.” DeVos said she is “a strong advocate for great public schools,” but what about other public schools that she doesn’t deem to be “great”?
So in more ways than one, Betsy DeVos is not good for our public education.