Ahead of DeVos Event, Colorado Educators Slam Trump’s Reckless Attempt to Force Schools To Reopen Without Ensuring Safety

Ahead of DeVos Event, Colorado Educators Slam Trump’s Reckless Attempt to Force Schools To Reopen Without Ensuring Safety

Photo by Gage Skidmore.

Denver, CO – Today (July 22, 2020), ahead of Betsy DeVos’s closed-door virtual event in Colorado to speak with the Federalist Society, the Colorado Democratic Party held a press call with public education leaders to call out the Trump administration’s failure to put students, teachers, and families’ safety first and its threats to withhold federal funding from schools that don’t reopen fully. In contrast, Joe Biden has a plan to reopen schools safely by getting the virus under control, setting national safety guidelines while empowering local districts, and providing emergency funding for schools and child care providers.

Earlier in the day, Denver Public Schools filed a federal lawsuit against DeVos for diverting federal coronavirus relief funding to private schools. 

Click here to listen to the audio from this morning’s call.

Colorado Education Association President Amie Baca-Oehlert: 

  • “We have seen no leadership from Secretary Betsy DeVos to protect the hundreds of thousands of students across Colorado and the tens of millions across our nation. We need real leadership to ensure our greatest resource, our students, are kept safe during this time and that the educators who serve them have the safe working conditions they deserve. Betsy DeVos, we call on you to put forward a real plan to protect our students, not talking points that will do more harm than good for our public school students and the brave educators who serve them on a daily basis.”

State Representative, Vice Chair of the House Education Committee, and Special Education Teacher Bri Buentello: 

  • “In the latest example of the Trump Administration’s incompetent and ineffective pandemic response, Trump and Betsy DeVos are pushing to reopen schools without ensuring the safety of our students, teachers, staff, and parents.”
  • “Most egregious of all, they’re threatening to cut funding that schools need in order to safely reopen. Simply put, they are willing to punish our public schools for their failed leadership.”
  • “Right now, what we need is more leadership and resources from the Trump Administration — not reckless threats to cut off funding and Washington-dictated mandates.”
  • “Teachers and students should not have to fear putting their lives and health at risk when walking into the classroom because Donald Trump would rather help his re-election chances than help our schools reopen safely.” 

Aurora Public School Teacher Bryan Lindstrom: 

  • “Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos want to bully schools into reopening without providing us with the resources we need to keep students, families, teachers, and staff safe. In short, they have hung our public schools out to dry, and left students and families to pick up the pieces.”
  • “It’s crystal clear that Betsy DeVos isn’t listening to teachers and educators on the ground, like myself, about the challenges our schools are facing.