Ohio senator, others criticize DeVos on eve of Butler County visit

A Democratic U.S. senator, state party leaders and supporters lined up to criticize U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos the day before she is to tour Butler Tech.

Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, described DeVos as pursuing “a radical education agenda that bolsters bad actors at the expense of students and teachers,” according to Brown in a statement released Thursday.

DeVos will tour the Butler County career school system Friday and take part in an employment signing ceremony where high school seniors, who have already lined up jobs, will formally sign their job agreements in proceedings similar to those done by prep sports stars announcing what colleges they will attend.

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“I’m glad Secretary DeVos is highlighting the good work done at Butler Tech, but if she wants to help students in Ohio, she should stop the attacks on public schools, stop rolling back policies designed to protect students and stop cutting funding for education,” Brown said.

“I hope Secretary DeVos will take the time to hear directly from Ohio students and teachers about how her agenda has hurt our state and quickly reverse course on these harmful policies.”

Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper joined Brown in emphasizing criticism of DeVos, who most recently became embroiled in a controversial proposed cutting of funding for Special Olympic programs nationwide, does not detract from any of Butler Tech’s acclaimed reforms and modernization in recent years.

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Pepper, however, blasted DeVos as harming public schools by seeking historically sharp cuts in the federal education funding that goes to states.

“Betsy DeVos has been a disaster for public education. She has pushed for vouchers and more charter schools,” said Pepper, during a Thursday conference call with the president of the Ohio Federation of Teachers.

Devos, he said, “has continued her campaign as secretary of education to take tax dollars away from our public schools and to give them to private schools and charters.”

Officials with DeVos’ office were not immediately available for comment.

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