ROCKFORD, Ill (WTVO/WQRF) – The Rockford Education Association and the Illinois Education Association plan to wear red to protest U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ visit Monday to Jefferson High School.
Teachers and support staff across the state are being urged to wear red, which organizers said symbolize the importance of equitable public education for all students.
“It’s unfortunate that our Secretary of Education has absolutely no experience working in public education,” said IEA President Kathi Griffin. “She has never worked in a public school, never been a teacher, a school administrator, nor served on any public board of education.”
The IEA says since becoming secretary, Devos has proposed initiatives to cut public education funding, repealed federal protections to hold for-profit colleges accountable, and rejected most educators who applied for student loan forgiveness.
“We want to… send a clear message about how important it is to use our collective voice to fight for public education and for our studnets,” said REA President Mel Gilfillan. “Our administrators, educators and community members work together to put our students first. We’re the ones who make sure every child has access to a high-quality public education, not Secretary DeVos.”
DeVos is scheduled to visit Jefferson High School September 16th at noon. She plans to learn more about the dual enrollment and career preparation programs that are available to Jefferson’s students.