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Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visits Milwaukee to promote school voucher plan

Milwaukee (WISN) — About a dozen angry protesters gathered Monday morning to greet Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on her visit to Milwaukee.

She invited parents and Republican lawmakers to a roundtable discussion at St. Marcus Lutheran School.

DeVos toured the school where almost all 900 students attend on taxpayer dollars with school choice vouchers.

She was in Milwaukee to drum up support for her new education proposal.

It would provide $5 billion in tax credits for donations to scholarships for private schools.

“I think every public school that is doing a great job for its students is an important part of our fabric of our country. They have to serve students well and continue to be challenged to do better,” DeVos said.

A reporter from our Milwaukee affiliate WISN-TV asked her why the country should use public money to fund private schools.

“Our argument is parents — the primary, the first educator — need to have the power to make the same decisions that those who are wealthy and powerful have been able to do,” DeVos replied.

The group of opponents not invited to attend the discussion were the head of the teacher’s union, the chair of the Wisconsin Democratic Party and other politicians and parents.

“I couldn’t look at myself as a mom if I didn’t show up, you know?” Maria Myles said. “We should change the way public schools in communities get funded so wherever they live, they can get a solid education.”

About 40,000 Wisconsin students use vouchers to attend private schools like the one DeVos visited.

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