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With Betsy Devos on the Frontline, How Can Education Make America Great Again?

 

For quite some time now, I’ve struggled with wrapping my brain around just what is going on in our country as it relates to the Trump Administration.

Seriously struggling.

And while Twitter memes and SNL skits have made it amusing, as I assume responsibility for the high school students I serve each day, I am quickly reminded that this is no laughing matter. There is nothing funny about what is taking place with the current administration. As it relates to the state of public education within our country, the spectacle around Trump’s new Secretary of Education continues to drive concerned citizen’s frustration and concern about the future of our schools.

The future of our kids.

Whether you peered through her professional resume and noticed she has no experience as an educator or administrator, or saw how she poorly demonstrated her knowledge of policy during her confirmation hearing, Betsy Devos has continued to prove her opposers accurate. Still, here she stands, in the leadership position that is responsible for the overall direction, supervision, and coordination of all activities of the Department. She is the principal adviser to the President on federal policies, programs and activities related to education in the United States, according to the US Department of Education .

Here in New Orleans, where the education system has been scrutinized for years, both before and after reform, it is important that we revert back to the defined role of the Secretary of Education and recognize that we can utilize our local government to ensure the absolute best for the students and families we serve.

So what can we do?

Well, with the introduction of Congress’ House Bill 610 which plans not only to repeal the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965  by allocating more federal dollars to voucher programs, but also repeal components of the No Hungry Kids Act, which has allowed an increase of fruits and vegetables to ensure school meals meet children’s nutritional needs, this is an opportunity to utilize our voices to impact government decision-making.

Those who support this bill seem to have less of an interest in ensuring that our kids, specifically those within public schools with greater socioeconomic needs, access education and food that are to the same standards of children who have such barriers.

One theme I found interesting thought the Devos’ confirmation hearing was her reliance on allowing decisions to be made on the local level. While I believe she likely resorted to this defense as a cover for her own limited knowledge, it actually reminded me that we do have some control and impact on policies given the process that bills must go through in order to be passed. Given that bills require approval from both Congress and the Senate, if we unite on a state level by letting our state senators know that we do not approve of such changes, we can actually have some input in which bills and policies are passed.

With everything that takes place in our day-to-day lives, an additional task may seem daunting, but I hope you all understand that what is taking place in our country is absolutely not ok. But, rather than feeling hopeless about it, being mindful of what is taking place on a city and state level can make the difference in what happens to our quality of lives and the futures of our young, bright children.  

Click here to see a list of your state’s senators along with their contact information.

Here in Louisiana, we are represented by Senators John Kennedy and Bill Cassidy and their contact info is here

Don’t let them rob our children of what is best for them. Show them that we are paying attention and we will unite for the good of our communities.

And lastly,

Spread the word!!

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