Current White House education policies not welcome in Ontario: NDP Education critic

October 3, 2017

QUEEN’S PARK — Today, Ontario NDP Education critic and London West MPP Peggy Sattler called on the Liberal government to stand with Ontario families and education workers by denouncing U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ assault on publicly funded education, and cancelling her visit to Ontario schools.

“Speaker, Ontario families and education advocates were shocked to discover that this government is welcoming U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to Ontario,” said Sattler. “DeVos is an outspoken proponent of voucher programs that divert public dollars to private schools and undermine a strong publicly funded education system.”

“With a $15-billion backlog in school maintenance and repair, with rising violence in Ontario schools and with chronic underfunding of special education, why is this government giving a platform to someone who believes that government should be spending less, not more, on public education?” asked Sattler.

Betsy DeVos was nominated as U.S. Education Secretary by President Donald Trump earlier this year. DeVos is unapologetic in her advocacy for “school choice” voucher programs that funnel public dollars to private schools. Since her appointment as education secretary, DeVos has repealed Obama-era guidelines allowing gender-neutral washrooms in schools and gutted policies on handling sexual assault cases at colleges. In a follow-up question, Sattler noted that Teachers’ Federations and education advocates are outspoken in denouncing DeVos’ views on school choice and privatized education.

“The president of the Ontario Teachers’ Federation wants Devos to ‘keep her backwards ideas out of Ontario'," said Sattler.

“Why won’t this Liberal government listen to teachers and take a strong stand against privatization, against trans exclusion, against gender-based violence and retract its invitation for DeVos to tour Ontario schools?”