Education Sec. Betsy DeVos visits Van Wert Schools
VAN WERT, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT)- Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was in Ohio April 20 to tour schools in Van Wert.
FOX 45 was the only Dayton station with cameras rolling as she spent several hours with students, parents, teachers and union leaders.
DeVos is for school choice and school vouchers, but some teachers' unions criticize her for that.
So it was somewhat surprising an outspoken union critic invited her to Van Wert and she accepted.
DeVos was talking to fifth grade students in her day long visit to Van Wert schools.
"It's been a very inspiring and wonderful day. It is clear that the community has invested heart and soul into the students here," DeVos said.
"We wanted to cram as much in today as possible so that she and I saw what is possible when you work together," American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said.
The head of the labor union representing teachers and the secretary don't always see eye to eye, but today they were on the same page.
"For someone who had earliert in her life said public schools are a dead end, to see the progress and potential. And progress of public schools and that potential and progress transcends politics," Weingarten said.
"Her emphasis has always been on a parent and a child . More choice more flexibility it's much like the free market," Ohio senator Matt Huffman (R - District 12) said.
"Her responsibility and my responsibility is to help prepare children for the future," Weingarten said.
A handful of protesters went at the schools at 9 a.m. They were on the opposite side of the school building and probably didn't get to see DeVos, still they said they had a message.
"The message is we support education , public education . We're all taxpayers. We know the public schools do a good job. We do not want one dime of our public money going to the charter schools," protester Al Arnold said.
After DeVos became education secretary, she and Weingarten agreed to visit a school of the other's choice.
Weingarten said she chose Van Wert because the community supports its public schools and yet it also supported Donald Trump who appointed DeVos.