How Will Betsy DeVos Be Welcomed in Erie?
Erie News Now has learned that U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will visit Pfeiffer-Burleigh Elementary School on Monday, July 16 at 3:30p.m. DeVos will meet with "school leadership, teachers and community partners," according to a news release sent Friday evening.
DeVos will then meet with Matt Harris, Founder & President, "Character: Be About It," a grades 3-8 prevention-based program taught by Pennsylvania State Troopers. The program has received national attention in recent months, when Harris met with lawmakers following a school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
Erie continues to prepare for a visit on Monday by the U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Not much has been released about the visit except that DeVos wants to see the assets of the Erie School District, and that she will be accompanied by Congressman Mike Kelly.
DeVos' name is likely to stir up divisive opinions among the public as much as the man who nominated her to her job as Secretary of Education. DeVos is a supporter of school choice, school vouchers, and charter schools, which makes many supporters of public schools feel threatened. It will be interesting to see how she will be welcomed in Erie.
DeVos was greeted by a handful of protesters in Toledo, Ohio earlier this week. They carried signs displaying words such as "Toss DeVos", "Protect Public Schools", and “DeVos is Unqualified to Serve."
DeVos visited a correctional facility and a career center while in Toledo. In Erie, she will be visiting our public schools.
Jim Wertz is the Chairman of the Erie County Democratic Party. He is no fan of the President Trump and his administration. Erie News Now asked him if everyone should be applauding the president, and Secretary DeVos, for choosing Erie's Public Schools as a place to visit.
"I'm not sure that they should. This feels more like a campaign stunt for Mike Kelly than it does an opportunity to learn about education for Betsy DeVos,” Wertz said.
Erie News Now also reached out to the Chairman of the Erie County Republican Party, Verel Salmon, about DeVos’ visit. He says Erie should feel special.
"The visit is just typical of what's happening since the election when Erie County went with Trump. We're getting all kinds of attention. It's rare to have a secretary visit. We have Washington's attention," Salmon said.