Dear Donald J. Trump, Reince Priebus, Steve Bannon & United States Senators,
It’s been less than a month since Donald J. Trump was elected as President of the United States of America, and he has already deemed public schools a failed system. He has not directly stated it but by nominating Betsy DeVos as the nation’s Secretary of Education it is shown. For those who don’t know, Nominee DeVos is a billionaire, philanthropist and “education” activist. DeVos is a pro school choice and voucher program.
What is pro school choice and the voucher program you are probably wondering. School choice allow families alternatives to publicly provided schools. The voucher program is pretty much scholarships for low income families to attend private schools. These don’t seem terrible right? But, they both take dramatic funding from public schools and encourages schools to be for profit which means they care about making money more than educating students.
Betsy DeVos was educated in a pristine private school and attended Calvin College. She is a mother of four very privileged and private school educated children.
Nominee DeVos has no experience leading nor working in the public school system which is important for our country’s Secretary of Education. The Secretary of Education is spokesperson of education for the President, adviser to the President for education policy, Title 1 funding head and the face of American education. As a public school student whose district relies on Title 1 funding, I deem Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos ill-equipped to serve in such a key position for our country.
My school is not like one that DeVos or her children ever attended. DeVos and her children attended private schools that do not rely on Title 1 funding. Title 1 primarily supports school districts with a high percentage of students from low-income families. Not only does it help those families but it helps families that have migrated to the United States.
The City of Philadelphia residents with income below the poverty level in 2013 was above 30 percent; many more people are low income but are not deemed impoverished. Taking Title 1 funding affects over 30 percent of Philadelphia residents and half of the United States population. According to the 2010 census half of the population are at or below low-income levels. This does not just affect Philadelphia students, it affects half of the families in this country. Many families will be out of a free and public education which will damage the economy because we are producing less educated and college ready citizens. Our unemployment rate will rise and our spending on government assistance programs like welfare will increase. Cutting Title 1 funding has a larger effect than some realize.
Mr. Trump I am not sure if you fail to realize but our education system nor our economy can afford to fail like your businesses. There is no filing for Chapter 7!
United State Senators I urge you for the safety of our education system to vote NO for Donald J. Trump’s nominee, Betsy DeVos, for Secretary of Education. We need someone with experience, a heart and someone that has experienced to fix this system that continues to fail.
Public School Student
Tamir D. Harper