Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association, told delegates to NYSUT’s Representative Assembly via a video appearance that the work to protect public education is “most important” during a time when “people want to turn schools into profits.”
While wealthy charter school diva Betsy DeVos was ultimately approved as U.S. secretary of education, to the disappointment and concern of public educators, Eskelsen Garcia said the actions to protest that appointment were significant. More than 1 million e-mails were sent to Congress to protest putting DeVos in this important position.
“Although we weren’t able to stop [her confirmation] ...we put them on notice,” she said. If educators stay engaged, DeVos will not be able to enact further threats to public education,” she said.
Eskelsen Garcia thanked NYSUT members for their hard work every day. “I’m proud of you for standing up for students every day in spite of adversity,” she said.