Billionaire Betsy DeVos promotes op-ed bashing Chicago teachers on strike for better school conditions


DeVos called an op-ed slamming the striking teachers a 'must read.'

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos this week criticized Chicago teachers, who have been on a nearly two-week-long strike to demand better classroom conditions and fair pay.

DeVos retweeted a Chicago Tribune op-ed Tuesday night that accused the striking teachers of being selfish and claimed the strike was intended only to build up morale for the union, calling it a "MUST READ."

"Teachers have had a generous contract offer on the table for weeks, plus a commitment in writing and funding set aside for nurses and social workers in every school, which supposedly were the reasons they walked out in the first place. So why are they still striking?" the op-ed read. "It’s rhetorical. You know why. The union was never not going to strike."

The column implied that the teachers were simply looking to drum up support following the Supreme Court Janus ruling last year that said non-union members should not be required to pay union dues.

Chicago teachers are currently striking to demand a fair union contract, which includes higher pay, more support staff, and smaller class sizes to benefit students.

DeVos is a supporter of using public school funding for private and charter schools. Her support for such programs caused serious issues in Detroit, where DeVos pushed for charter schools.

Her efforts specifically took money away from public schools, which saw declines in test scores. In fact, test scores in Michigan "declined dramatically" since DeVos' advocacy for charter schools in the state, according to the Detroit Free Press.

During her confirmation hearing, students from Detroit public schools spoke out against DeVos' nomination, including Dannah Wilson, who said DeVos' push for charter schools led to underfunded public schools.

Wilson said she was subsequently forced to drive hundreds of miles per week to attend a charter school that provided her with a good education.

DeVos has also proposed cuts to programs that benefit impoverished children who attend public schools, hoping to slash billions in everything from after-school activities for kids in poor areas to counseling services.

DeVos is also anti-union and worked to bust the union representing employees at the Department of Education that she now oversees.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.