Friday, July 14, 2017

Betsy DeVos is coming to Denver for a meeting of the conservative group ALEC — and protesters are ready | Chalkbeat

Betsy DeVos is coming to Denver for a meeting of the conservative group ALEC — and protesters are ready | Chalkbeat:

Betsy DeVos is coming to Denver for a meeting of the conservative group ALEC — and protesters are ready

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is scheduled to speak in Denver next week at the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council, an influential conservative group that has successfully advocated for free-market principles at statehouses across the country.
While DeVos will find a friendly audience at ALEC, she’ll get a different greeting from liberal activists and union leaders who are seizing on the chance to protest DeVos’s agenda.
This is DeVos’s first visit to Colorado since the billionaire philanthropist and school choice advocate was confirmed as President Donald Trump’s pick for the nation’s top education job.
DeVos has close ties to ALEC. She is the founder of the American Federation for Children, which provides financial support to ALEC and has representation on ALEC’s Education and Workforce Development Task Force.
ALEC is best known for crafting “model” legislation advancing conservative principles on issues ranging from tax limitations to gun safety and the environment. Its membership includes corporations and nearly 2,000 state legislators across the country.
DeVos shares ALEC’s support for charter schools and the use of tax dollars to pay for private school education through vouchers, tax-credit scholarships and education savings accounts.
As of Thursday, DeVos’s appearance was not listed on the meeting’s online agenda. An ALEC spokeswoman confirmed DeVos will appear, but said details including the timing still were being worked out. The group’s meeting runs Wednesday through Friday.
Inez Feltscher Stepman, director of ALEC’s Education and Workforce Development Task Force, lauded DeVos’s support for school choice and for making clear that decision-making about education should be invested in states.
“It’s really encouraging to hear (states) should have the primary responsibility for crafting their education systems, and should be the leaders in education reform and opportunity,” she said.
A U.S. Department of Education spokeswoman did not respond to questions this week about whether DeVos has any other stops or appearances planned during her Betsy DeVos is coming to Denver for a meeting of the conservative group ALEC — and protesters are ready | Chalkbeat:


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