DeVos Challenged To Visit East Hartford After Disparaging Comments | Connecticut Public Radio

DeVos Challenged To Visit East Hartford After Disparaging Comments

May 31, 2017

East Hartford officials want Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to visit the town’s school system, after she made controversial comments last week criticizing its standards. DeVos accused East Hartford High School of being what she termed a “dangerous daycare,” citing one of its former students. 

But current students and faculty have hit back at the secretary’s comments, saying she did no research into the system before speaking out.

Chair of the town’s Board of Education, Bryan Hall, said he wants to educate DeVos personally.

“You picked the wrong community to come after, Ms. DeVos," he said at a news conference held at the high school. "A community that stands together, a community that educates their children, a community that stands strong. And I challenge you -- I hope you do come here.”

DeVos was making the case for students in urban school districts to have more access to vouchers so they can afford private school.

But Representative John Larson said the Trump administration’s budget will hobble the ability of public schools to properly address the needs of students.

“We can’t do that when the federal government cuts out $9.2 billion, but then decides that they’re going to make a further cut by making available an additional $1.4 billion for the secretary’s own little personal experiment. How about investing in our public schools now?” he said.

Larson graduated from East Hartford High School, and his daughter is a teacher at the school.