U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visits schools in Tallahassee

By: Lanetra Bennett I WCTV Eyewitness News
August 29, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was in Tallahassee Tuesday and paid a visit to two schools, Holy Comforter Episcopal and Florida High.

Betsy DeVos says Holy Comforter Episcopal School is doing a lot right.
"This school has been an innovator and a pioneer," she said.

DeVos says her visit was as an ongoing effort to learn from schools that are uniquely meeting the needs of students.

She toured several classes to see first-hand the Lego Robotics Program and STEM lab, and the students' everyday use of technology.

"I think they're examples of what a lot of schools should aspire to be and look for more opportunities to become more innovative. I think that we need to recognize the fact that far too many schools have been stuck in a mode that is basically approaching things that has been done similarly to 100 years ago," she said.

Joanne McCall, the Florida Education Association President, said, "If you want innovation, then relax the regulations as far as they need to be for public schools so that a public school can be innovative to do those types of things."

McCall says DeVos is trying to dismantle public schools. "She's slashing the education budget by billions of dollars. She's taking away 22 education programs. She's slashing I.D.E.A. I.D.E.A. is how the the funding comes down to states for special education."

DeVos was asked about funneling money from public to charter schools. She said, "I think that parents should continue to be more and more empowered to make the right choice for their child, for their children to send them to a school that is right for them."

"When you're in charge of public education, you should be bolstering public education." Said, McCall.

DeVos agreed that private schools do not reflect the average school across America, but says schools should desire to be like Holy Comforter.

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