Disappointed in Iowa’s senators

To the Editor:

Saddened but not surprised over both of Iowa’s Senators voting to confirm Betsy DeVos, as Secretary of Education. Certainly not surprised over Senator Grassley’s vote (he had received $21,600 from Betsy DeVos in the last election) but saddened over Senator Joni Ernst’s vote after literally 10’s of 1000’s of calls, emails, and texts to her local offices and Washington DC office.

Educators, parents and community members, who are for strong public schools are opposed to the confirmation of Ms. DeVos, because of her lack of experience in public schools, her views on charter schools and contempt of the public school system. In her testimony to the Senate, she left open the possibility of defunding public schools.

Ms. DeVos showed a remarkable lack of knowledge at her confirmation hearings – for instance, she was not familiar with IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) and the federal statutes that apply to school districts.

As a 12 year veteran of the Webster City School Board, I would be interested to hear Senator Ernst explain why she feels Betsy DeVos will be good for Iowa’s public schools, as Secretary of Education, especially in view of the state legislators’ cuts in funding this year to the Iowa public schools.

I do not buy Senator Grassley’s response Ms. DeVos will have little to do with Iowa public schools – she was charged to deal with federal statutes; but she demonstrated that she didn’t know about them.

A donor who gives over $7 million to a presidential campaign, in this case, Donald Trump, can usually expect an ambassadorship in return. Betsy DeVos would have been better suited to be an ambassador.

I do not believe that taxpayer dollars should fund private schools through the voucher system – a large part of the DeVos philosophy. I think our children deserve better.

Deb Leksell

Webster City IA 50595

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