Betsy DeVos was confirmed yesterday despite unprecedented national and even bipartisan opposition, despite Senators from both parties across the country being flooded with calls like never before, despite weeks of nationwide protests and vigils.
Because instead of listening to their constituents, Republican Senators turned off their phones, dismissed callers as “paid protesters” and voted with their wallets. Because Betsy DeVos bought this appointment. This is what corruption looks like. And it is precisely this kind of monied self interest that has been steering school privatization for years, against the wishes of parents, educators and communities.
If we are going to save public schools in this country- if we are going to save democracy, we’ve got to get corporate money out of politics and out of education. And every stakeholder in public education needs to make it their mission to do so.
The nationwide movement against DeVos proved that the “choice” parents want for their children is a quality, well funded community public school. Deciding between a for-profit prison to pipeline charter school, an “online virtual school” or private Christian school is not the choice most parents are looking for. And I certainly hope to avoid “teaching” in an online school where I’m barred from mentioning climate change, civil rights or evolution.
It’s time for all parents, all kids, all educators, all progressive politicians to stand up and get organized for public schools. Being a teacher, now more than ever, is a political act. Going to work and keeping your head down is no longer an option.
And to all the Trump supporting teachers out there, (Yes, I know about you) when thousands of schools lose their Title One funding, would you mind just quitting? Just step down okay? Because you know, budgets will be tight and people are going to lose their jobs. And you did this. I’m sure you can find work at the one of the fancy, new for-profit, online Christian schools for grizzly bear defense that will be popping up across the country.