A theme of unity and continued relationship-building was the central message at CTA Orange County Service Center Council’s Winter Conference held in Palm Springs over this past weekend. Council Chair Linda Manion was pleased to introduce California Teachers Association (CTA) President Eric Heins as the event’s keynote speaker who reminded leaders in the room continue to build strong relationships with educators throughout their chapters and beyond, stating “Those relationships will serve you and the course of public education for years to come.”
At stake under the new federal administration is the continued support for free and public education in the U.S. With the nomination of Betsy DeVos, voucher supporters have potentially gained a seat in the current cabinet. DeVos claims no experience with public schools; she and her children all attended private schools and she holds an undergraduate degree from Calvin College in Michigan. She has spent decades as a conservative philanthropist in support of vouchers in her home state of Michigan and nationally. She and her husband were early investors in K-12 Inc., an online charter school who recently settled a lawsuit with the State of California for $168,000,000.00 over improprieties in calculating Average Daily Attendance.
While the U.S. Senate Confirmation hearing for DeVos has been temporarily delayed, educators should be prepared for a future without national government support for public education as we have known it.