Education

Betsy DeVos Helped Ravage Detroit's Schools, Which Is Why She Must Not Become U.S. Secretary of Education

Taxpayer funds looted, public schools closed.

Photo Credit: j4jalliance.com

In 2000, Betsy DeVos, a billionaire, led the voucher proposal placed on the Michigan ballot.

Many of us met and organized to defeat her effort. We won, but she never stopped. She spent millions of her and her husband’s money to organize support for her efforts. She gave millions to the politicians to support her efforts to destroy public schools which has had an adverse impact on black and brown school systems in Michigan. She even organized her own corporation, Great Lakes Education Project, carry out her mission to destroy public education.

She has been nominated as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

In my opinion this will destroy any hope of maintaining a sustainable education for our students. Michigan has more charter schools than any other state. Most of them are failing. There is no accountability for these schools and anyone can start a charter school.

These schools have taken money from traditional public schools because they have been designated as public schools. Most of our schools have been closed due to parents not having a true public school in their neighborhood. Detroit Emergency Managers have closed two-thirds of schools. The enrollment has decreased from almost 180,000 students to less than 50,000 students since the state takeover of our public schools.

As schools close, charters move in and there are no schools for the very poor to attend except the charter schools who move into the former neighborhood schools. The parents who can afford to transport their students to suburban schools because of the negative publicity against traditional public schools that was designed by the state governor and republican politicians have been responsible for over 60,000 students who could attend Detroit Public Schools have chosen to escape the inferior education not knowing that their student is attending a failing charter school.

When they find out, or when their child is not accepted (special education) in a charter school or a suburban school, they keep changing schools. Some students have attended five charter schools before they finally graduate. Some special education students and other students have been pushed out of school and delivered to prison by way of the Student Code of Conduct.

Because our Detroit School system has been under the emergency manager law that took away all our democratic rights, we have filed many legal challenges to gain our right to vote for an elected board with full power just like all the white districts have in Michigan. Recently, they have decided to return an elected board with hardly no power.

The former board was reduced from 11 members to seven members by the law that also divides the newly elected board into a board that will only be in charge of the curriculum and hiring the new superintendent, finances will be dealt with by another entity which they appointed. While under the former takeover evil system, our finances have been raided and we went from $114 million dollar surplus to over $2 billion dollars deficit. The state refuses to conduct an audit requested by the taxpayers of Detroit to find out what happened to our money, while the state was in charge of the school system for the last 16 years.

We must stop Betsy DeVos; she has been an enemy of our children too long. Her destructive 20-year history of destroying our public school system speaks for itself. She cannot become the national leader of the education of our children.

I am convinced that her past history is proof that she will not do right by our children. Her voucher and charter system forces our children to be on a slave block where they are auctioned off to these charter operators and the voucher they receive will not be enough to allow them the opportunity to go to the best schools in the nation. They will have to pay the difference to attend these expensive schools.

So the voucher will be used by the poverty stricken students who can only afford to attend the school that will accept the voucher amount offered by the state. Our children deserve better. Betsy DeVos' voucher and charter plan will not help our children. For more information please check out her charter organization, Great Lake Education Project (GLEP).

You will understand why she cannot be confirmed for the U.S. Secretary of the Department of Education.

 

 

Mother Helen Moore is a longtime public school activist from Detroit, Michigan.

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