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Local educators react to Betsy DeVos confirmation

Worry and concern for the future of public schools are at the top of many educator’s minds Tuesday as the U.S. Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos as the next Secretary of Education.

“I really believe it’s an assault on the middle class of America – it’s what makes our country great, the fact that we have access to free public education,” says Miller Elementary School teacher, Jose Segura.

“In her senate confirmation hearings, Ms. DeVos seemed to lack important pertinent knowledge of where the issues and debates are lying within public education,” explains Kevin Taylor, Director of the School of Education for Cal Poly.

In fact., DeVos has no background in public education at all, which is why many of those in the education field are nervous.

“You want somebody building cars who has driven a car. You want someone doing surgery who has gone to the doctor before – so to have someone in charge of public education who has never had any connection to public education either through themselves or through their own children.. It just blows the mind,” Segura tells us.

DeVos will now be in charge of the federal government’s budget for education, something that sends about nine billion dollars to schools in California according to Segura.

Cal Poly student Aidan Lacy says his mom works for a school district in Sonoma county in northern California and is worried about what this means for both of them.

“I think that electing somebody this out of touch is a big mistake. The impact of this is profound and needs to be taken into consideration,” he explains.

Kevin Taylor says he hopes now that DeVos has been confirmed, she will take the time to inform herself on some of the problems currently going on in education and learning what she can do to help fix them.

“The problems are multi-dimensional and I think taking very simplistic approaches to solving multi-dimensional is ill informed. We need to collect data, we need to study that data and we need to come up with good solutions,” Taylor says.

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