By Rachel Moskowitz
Betsy DeVos is currently the United States Secretary of Education. Ms. DeVos has no government experience and none of her children went through the public school system. In the past 5 years she has given 5.3 million dollars in political donations, specifically contributing to presidential candidates. Ms. Devos is proposing many new bills including Bill 610. This bill will effectively start a school voucher system for children 5 to 17, and will start the de-funding process of public schools. This bill will also eliminate certain laws that have been put in place for students with special needs, homeless children as well as students whose first language is not English.
Ms. DeVos have you ever went to, worked or had children in public schools? Allow me to answer for you, no. Have you had any government experience? Again, the answer is no. But you have spent years giving money to politicians hoping that one day they would owe you a favor. And your favor is this House Bill 610. I have chosen to pursue a degree in special education. This degree will allow me to help students who need an extra push in school. House Bill 610 will make this very hard for me to be a special education teacher. This bill is going to eliminate the Elementary and Education Act of 1965, which is the nations educational law that provides equal opportunity in education. Call me old fashioned, but I believe every child should receive education, and an equal one across all aspects. Sending transportation to neighborhoods that can take children to school can do this. Many parents cannot drive their children to school each day and that is why transportation should be sent to them. Getting the child to school is half the problem and then it is up to the teachers to motivate and teach them. They need to have the option of attending school and if the only schools available to them are private they wont have that option. That would be doing a disservice to the child, the parent, family and future generations.
This bill will abolish English as a second language classes, classes for minorities, rural education, education for the homeless and more. Do you also believe that every child should have access to equal education? I am thinking the answer is no and this breaks my heart. Would you want your sons, Ryan and Richard, or your daughters, Elisabeth and Andrea, to have access to any accommodations they may need? Under this bill the universal design for learning, access to accommodations and evidence based interventions for school would not be guaranteed. What if you have a grandchild that needs services and they aren’t available to them? If a child does not get English as a second language class in school they will be behind in every class. Learning calculus in a language that is not yours is going to make it ten times harder for these students to succeed. If the students can receive support from their first day of school they will become fluent faster and will be able to start their educational journey that much sooner!
Think about your four children and future grandchildren next time you propose a bill and get back to me. You are affecting thousands of children and not in a positive way.
A concerned future educator