Secretary DeVos: Do Your Job and Protect America’s Students and Educators

Target: Betsy DeVos, U.S. Secretary of Education

Goal: Implement action plans to better prepare schools for the challenges posed by COVID-19.

As school leaders across the country struggle to make the best decisions for their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, Secretary Betsy DeVos has been largely absent from the conversation. She has failed to offer needed guidelines on the virtual vs. in-person learning debate. The American people should expect more from the Secretary of Education.

An estimated 90 percent of educators claim they are paying for personal protective equipment out of their own pockets. This stat reinforces that the secretary has also not served as a strong advocate for desperately needed federal funding for public schools as a cornerstone of stimulus negotiations. In fact, a federal judge recently blocked DeVos’ efforts to funnel millions of dollars allocated for public schools under the last relief package to wealthy, politically connected private schools. Now comes word that the Department of Education is slow-walking formal complaints related to COVID-19, including concerns from parents whose children (many disabled) are not receiving vital equipment and accommodations for virtual learning.

DeVos is just one of the Trump-appointed cabinet members whose upcoming departure will be met with celebration in some circles. While President-Elect Biden has already vowed to undo many of the controversial policies enacted by Secretary DeVos, the potential for damage still remains an ongoing threat. The secretary’s failure to provide real guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic represents the greatest imminent danger.

Secretary DeVos’ failure of leadership is putting the education and the very lives of America’s students at risk. Sign the petition below to demand she start serving the people instead of special interests.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary DeVos,

“This permanent injunction sends a clear message that the publicly funded CARES Act dollars should be used as Congress intended – to educate our public students, and not to serve the political agendas of a select few.”

This statement from Michigan’s attorney general may be in relation to a specific case, but in many respects it summarizes the problems so many people who have dedicated their lives to education have with your tenure. Whether the issue be student loan debts, school fraud, allegations of sexual assault, or non-discrimination protections, time and again you have chosen political favor and special interests over America’s education system. With the pandemic still raging and entering an extremely dangerous period, your inaction has imperiled students, teachers, administrative staff, and families alike.

We need action plans that address the tough choices of virtual or in-person learning. We need advocates willing to fight for the financial investments necessary to safeguard and safely reopen schools, not panderers who will hoard any money that may come for their pet projects. We need proactive individuals who will not ignore the pleas of parents trying to secure essential accommodations and resources for their children. Most of all, this country needs guidance and a clear sense of purpose from its leaders.

Make these final days your shining hour and show America that you are capable of being that leader. Leave a legacy not of cowering in the corner but of rising to the occasion for a nation at a critical crossroads.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Michael Vadon




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