The letter below by PMCT President, Beth Warnken, was published in the Long Island Advance on Thursday January 12th.
Long Island Advance
20 Medford Avenue
Patchogue, NY 11772
Letter to the Editor
The Patchogue-Medford Congress of Teachers is joining with the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools on January 19th for a National Day of Action – #PMCT4PublicEd #ReclaimOurSchools.
Our purpose is to share our concerns about the nominee for US Secretary of Education,
Ms. Betsy DeVos. Ms. DeVos is a billionaire activist from Michigan. She has a degree in Business Administration and Political Science. Ms. DeVos has no educational experience. She has not ever attended public schools herself nor have any of her four children. Never having worked in a school – public or private, we believe, should disqualify her from serving in this role. It seems obvious to us that the US Secretary of Education should hold some minimal credentials: a degree in teaching, have served as an educator and have a connection to a public school system – where 85% of the children in this nation are educated.
We are concerned that Ms. DeVos will support policies intended to privatize, defund and destabilize public education in America. We are troubled at the prospect of what that would mean for us here in Patchogue-Medford.
We, the teachers in Patchogue-Medford, stand united in support of our schools. We believe in public education and the right EVERY child has to a free and appropriate education. We are concerned how national policies may adversely affect our public schools and the quality education our students receive in Patchogue-Medford.
We are against the nomination of Betsy DeVos for US Secretary of Education. We, on this National Day of Action, encourage you to do as we have done, contact your US Senators Chuck Schumer (ph#518-431-4070 or go to www.schumer.senate.gov) and Kirsten Gillibrand (ph#631-249-2825 or go to www.gillibrand.senate.gov) and tell them to Vote NO! Betsy DeVos should not be confirmed Secretary of Education.
Beth A. Warnken, President
Patchogue-Medford Congress of Teachers