January 9, 2017 2:54 pm

Grassroot group of NYC parents to deliver more than 1500 letters opposing DeVos

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Concerned Parents Ask Senators to Defeat Betsy DeVos’s Appointment to Secretary of Education


January 9, 2017

New York, NY

For More Information:

Penny Lewis 917-328-2456, pennylewis@gmail.com;

Lizzie Scott 646-554-8918,  lizzierosescott@gmail.com

On Tuesday, January 10,  a group of parents will visit Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand at 10 AM to deliver more than 1500 letters from parents from 6 New York City public schools urging the Senators to vigorously oppose the appointment of Betsy DeVos to Secretary of Education.

The letter stresses the parents’ concern that as a wealthy donor and lobbyist Ms. DeVos has promoted a radical agenda of school privatization and vouchers, and that she has no experience as a teacher, administrator, parent, or student in public schools.

The letter drive began with one parent at PS 10 in Brooklyn and soon spread to parents from PS 321, Arts and Letters, and PS 295 in Brooklyn and PS 3 and the Earth School.

“Betsy DeVos’s stated mission is to disrupt and replace public education,” said Lizzie Scott, a parent at PS 10. “What she did in Michigan ended up taking billions of dollars from public schools and diverting them into unregulated, educationally unsuccessful for-profit charters. By 8th grade kids didn’t know that bodies are made up of cells. They weren’t learning basic math. And these schools just kept operating! Whether your kids are in a charter school, a G&T magnet school, or a neighborhood school, her appointment will be a huge setback to their education. Even if you voted for Trump, I don’t see how a public school parent can support her.”

The parents reports that they were overwhelmed by the response at their schools.  Together, they demand that their Senators will make every effort to block Betsy DeVos’s appointment. Arts & Letters parent Penny Lewis explained, “we expect our representatives to do right by us.  DeVos’s record indicates that she is an extremist. She isn’t the educational leadership this country wants and needs. We want our Senators and others to understand how important it is to defeat her nomination.”

Parents who organized this effort have been inspired by the work of others across the state and country fighting for high quality public education for their kids and communities.  Marnie Brady, co-President of the Arts and Letters PTA, says, “We plan to be actively watching and reporting back to our PTAs and communities what our elected officials are doing to block this appointment and preserve and support public education.”