Wylie ISD superintendent critical of new Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos
It's not just some parents, but even some school districts are concerned about new Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
Wylie ISD said the confirmation vote on DeVos triggered so many calls and emails from concerned parents that the superintendent posted a statement on Facebook that wound up riling some people.
“Please know that we love your kids, and love is stronger than any lawmaker. While we are disappointed by this confirmation, Wylie ISD is, and will continue to be, a high achieving school district,” the statement read.
Reaction from parents was swift on both sides. Some said, "A school district should focus on facts and not political opinions."
But others were supportive. Shannon Anthony has a son in special education at Wylie ISD.
“She is so uneducated about federal laws that are in place, currently in place to protect students and children with disabilities and special needs,” DeVos said.
Anthony worries the special programs that benefit her son might lose funding to private and charter schools. DeVos has supported school vouchers that give funds for parents to educate their kids outside the public school system.
“He receives vision support, occupational mobility support from experienced, trained individuals that my school system pays for,” Anthony said.
Still others urged giving DeVos a chance. One person wrote on the Wylie ISD Facebook page, “Each president has a huge learning curve, as does every other cabinet member. Maybe different is a good thing."
The Wylie ISD superintendent says the post was meant to ease concerns and open discussion, but he does have one regret.
“I used the word disappointed, and I should've used the word concerned. Because she didn't answer some essential questions,” Dr. David Vison said. “We don't have beef against people, we just want to build bridges.”
A tiebreaker vote by Vice President Mike Pence had to be cast to approve DeVos on Tuesday, the closest vote for a cabinet nominee in U.S. history.
DeVos spent Wednesday trying to reassure parents and teachers.
“I'm here to serve with you. I'm committed to working with everyone from every corner of the country from every walk of life from every background,” DeVos said.