I guess I better put on my war paint

Because Betsy DeVos has been confirmed as the head of all education in the United States.

This woman scares me…she wants to repeal child labor laws (not sure if she can do that, frankly) and basically throw public education as we know it right into the blender and hit frappe’.

The way I understand it (and please, somebody correct me if I am wrong about this), she’d rather see all public schools close in favor of private religious-based schools and charter schools. Which, I don’t disagree…private religious based schools and charter schools have their place. That fact is not in dispute. But public schools have a right to exist too, as I see it. Because not everybody can get into a charter school…there are only so many spaces, of course and private schools (particularly if they are religiously affiliated) aren’t for everybody because again..not everybody can get in, even if they could afford to pay the yearly tuition or whatever.

I attended public school growing up…we were so poor, we straddled the line between just plain ol’ poor and being “in poverty”. Although I didn’t attend the best public schools (it was, at the time I believe, one of the poorest districts in the area and might still be. IDK), at least my education was free. Charter schools, as they are now, simply did not exist in our area (if they existed at all..this was the 80s and 90s after all and I don’t remember ever hearing ANYTHING about any kind of charter school till at least 15 years ago when they began to come in fashion). I don’t recall if there were any private schools in our area (there probably were, but I don’t remember) but even if there had been, there was no way my parents could’ve put one child through private school, let alone three. So they did their best (as did we) with the public school system we had access to. At school, I knew that even if I had nothing for dinner (which did happen every now and then. Not a lot,but it did happen from time to time), I would at least get breakfast and lunch since we were on the free lunch program. And maybe it wasn’t great food (still isn’t, more than 25 years later) but at least it was food.

The school system we live in currently is a lot better than the one I attended. It’s not a super rich district by any means, but it is adequate for our needs. My son has attended school in this district since he was 3 1/2 years old when he started out in their special ed/bilingual (because they had classrooms for both purposes) preK program. He’s been in their classrooms for almost a frigging decade at this point with about 5 more years go to before he graduates. And while it’s not the #1 district in the state by any means, he has not (at least to my knowledge) been shafted as far as the quality of teachers and the amount of special services he receives. Every single teacher, aide and therapist he’s ever had (maybe save one and I’ve long since forgiven her) has bent over backwards to make sure that he and every other special needs student has exactly what they need to be successful in the classroom. I am eternally grateful for these dedicated men and women who put so much hard work and effort into educating and taking care of not just my son, but the hundreds of other kids in our district who need their help and guidance. Without them, my son would not be who he is today, would not have come so far from being practically nonverbal as he was at 3, without their help.

And the thought that Mrs. DeVos, from her privileged high horse up in Washington with her expansive lack of knowledge of education, could take that all away from me and my son and the thousands like us in our district, brings me to tears. Because if that’s taken away..what am I left with? Nothing. Homeschooling, maybe.

Donald Trump made absolutely the wrong choice in nominating her to be in charge of the education of millions of students across the U.S. How she got confirmed is easy to see..she’s got a lot of money she can throw around and has in the past to several of the members of the confirmation committee. The Democrats, as a block, voted against her. But of course, as with everything these days, the Republicans went “Screw you!” and marched right over them.

This is such a dark time for our country. If moving to Canada were an option, I’d probably be willing to move…at least until the next few years have gone by and hopefully this sad chapter in American history has passed. I’m not a fan of snow and cold (which seem to be in plentiful supply up north) but I’d be willing to put up with it knowing it would hopefully be only for a few years. Or maybe not. There’s been some talk (although none of it very serious….I hope) that Trumplethinskin is going to find a way to set himself up as emperor or king and then we’ll NEVER be rid of him. I seriously hope that never, EVER comes to pass because I don’t know if I want to endure this white trash Greek tragedy for longer than I have to.

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