You gotta have a dream, if you don’t have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?
~from the Broadway Play South Pacific
If you’re Democrat or Republican, and you care about public education, vote for V.P. Joe Biden to remove Education Secretary Betsy DeVos from the U.S. Department of Education! Four more years of Betsy DeVos means the end of public education.
With a President Biden, public schools have a chance of surviving. With a President Trump, they don’t. It’s as simple as that.
You may be thinking, Democratic leadership has failed public education in the past. Many were disappointed in the Obama administration’s Race to the Top.
Once there’s a President Biden, the country can remind him of this. But the odds of losing our schools with a President Biden is less of a worry now than leaving DeVos in her perch at the U.S. Department of Education.
There are dozens of reasons to check the Biden/Harris ticket. Public schools affect every other issue on the ballot, every issue we face as a nation. Democratic public schools are the backbone of the nation.
We need our young people to:
- deal with climate change;
- achieve world peace;
- end poverty;
- end homelessness;
- create art, music, drawing, painting, and drama;
- relate to our brothers and sisters;
- improve health care for all people;
- end the stigma of mental illness;
- be more thoughtful citizens;
- find cures for cancer and other diseases;
- address world overpopulation;
- demonstrate acceptance, no matter gender, race, or religion;
- see the value in the citizenry of each person;
- fix the next pandemic with real science;
- be the next generation of explorers;
- create great literature;
- give us humor;
- understand the technical careers that move us forward.
Betsy DeVos has demonstrated her hatred (not too strong a word) of public education, professional teachers, and contempt for children. She has:
- Refused to assist public school students and teachers during the pandemic.
- Advertised choice, instead of supporting public education during this difficult time.
- Failed to show empathy for the children separated from their parents at the border.
- Let ICE go after parents through their schools.
- Her planning for safer schools after school shootings was insufficient and ignored much.
- Without a plan, she refuses to listen to the Covid-19 fears of teachers, staff, and parents about returning to schools.
- Slammed public school teachers in Fairfax, after they struggled with online learning during the pandemic.
- Fails to work with the teachers’ unions to smooth out disagreements.
- Wastes tax dollars by visiting private and parochial schools, of which she has no authority.
- Finalized a rule to block undocumented students from emergency funds for expenses during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Changed the sexual assault rules on campus to favor the accused.
- $180 million of CARE dollars has been diverted to states to create “microgrants” for private school tuition.
- Got school districts to divert millions of dollars designated for low-income students to wealthy private schools.
- Refused to pay students who were defrauded by for-profit colleges until forced by a class-action lawsuit.
- Has done little to help parents feel secure about reopening schools.
- Implied she’ll fund religious schools, blurring the line between Separation of Church and State.
- Forces the reopening of all schools without thinking about the safety of children and teachers.
- Tried to waive the rights of families with children with disabilities during the pandemic, violating IDEA mandates.
So, I’m reaching out to my Republican friends. Do some serious soul searching about public education and the next President.
First Lady Dr. Jill Biden
President Biden could support someone who believes in public education. He’s married to an educator, Dr. Jill Biden, with serious education credentials and experience, including special education!
Having a background in this area means Dr. Biden understands something about what parents are going through, and what they need when it comes to the disabilities facing their children.
There’s an authenticity about Dr. Biden that’s refreshing. She finds purpose and joy in her profession and recognizes the importance of public education. One gets the feeling that teachers and parents would find a friend in her when it comes to their kids.
During the Democratic Convention, Dr. Jill Biden mentioned public education, especially noting the problems during the pandemic, speaking from her old high school classroom. Sen. Elizabeth Warren spoke from an early education classroom.
Perhaps once her husband is in office, Dr. Biden would make a concerted effort to champion our public schools.
Vice President Kamala Harris
Vice President Kamala Harris experienced first-hand what it was like to be a part of a school integration plan as a child.
She has spoken in support of public education and teachers. She has also demonstrated by her actions that she would be a strong supporter of public education. The NEA describes Harris as having respect for teachers.
She has challenged Betsy DeVos, investigated and cracked-down on for-profit charter schools and colleges, has voted against vouchers, supports racial justice and equity, and better funding of public schools.
Jan Resseger breaks down Harris’s record in “Kamala Harris Has Strongly Supported Public Schools and Cracked Down on Unscrupulous For-Profit Charter Management Companies and For-Profit Colleges,” which is full of clues showing how Harris might advocate for public schools.
The Democrats aren’t discussing all the critical issues concerning public schools, but they have public education on their radar.
So, like the song in South Pacific, you’ve got to have a dream, or how are you gonna make a dream come true?
Without a President Biden, there’s no dream of saving public education! Reelect Donald Trump, and we will see four more years of Betsy DeVos and the end of public schools.
President Joe Biden will send Betsy DeVos on her way! Once he becomes President, we must insist he keep his promises to teachers, parents, and children.
So keep the dream alive. Vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and send Betsy DeVos and her friends yachting! Bon Voyage!