PWEA Pres. Encourages DeVos to Learn More about Public Education

| April 26, 2017 | 0 Comments | Education

Secretary Betsy DeVos visiting Ashland Elementary School, April 25.

In a letter to the editor, Prince William Education Association President Riley O’Casey asks that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos take the time to learn more about public education, following her recent visit to Ashland Elementary School. 

To the Editor:

The Prince William Education Association was both pleased and concerned when U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited Ashland Elementary School this week. Kudos to the staff and parents for their dedication to the students.

We were pleased because she had a chance to visit one of the best public school districts in Virginia and, quite frankly, the U.S. Here are some facts about our county’s schools we hope Sec. DeVos learned while visiting:

Every day, over 5,000 teachers; 1,000 custodians and cafeteria workers; 350 counselors, psychologists and social workers; 600 bus drivers; 100 media specialists; 600 secretaries; 88 nurses; and hundreds of technology specialists give their heart and soul to meet the needs of our 89,000 students.

They do this even when supplies are short and funds are low. And those thousands of educators serve students who may enter school unprepared to learn, who have special needs, who don’t speak English, who are frequently disruptive, and/or have been raised in poverty. They serve ALL students! There are thousands of incredible educators in this school division.

We, however, along with educators across the nation, are very concerned about her support of privatization, charter schools, and vouchers—all of which hurt public education. It also alarms us that she became the U.S. Secretary of Education without absolutely any experience working in a public school. Those of us who have given our professional lives to public education need to know that policymakers are standing with us and not fighting against us.

We would encourage Ms. DeVos to visit a wide variety of schools in Prince William County; there is always much to learn.

Riley O’Casey, President of Prince William Education Association

Educator, 17 years

This opinion piece represents the opinion of the author and not necessarily Bristow Beat, its staff or sponsors. 

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