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Bonamici Statement on Education Secretary DeVos’ Upcoming Visit to McMinnville High School in Oregon

October 10, 2017
Press Release


McMINNVILLE, OR [10/10/17] – Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) released the following statement about the upcoming visit by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to McMinnville High School in McMinnville, Oregon:

“I welcome Secretary DeVos to Oregon. It is my hope that the Secretary’s visit to McMinnville High School will demonstrate the potential of public education and inspire her to work with Congress to pass and implement policies that will lead to all our country’s public schools getting the funding and support they need to help every student succeed.

“The McMinnville School District is a leader in providing students with a well-rounded education, and was recently recognized for exceeding expectations with a significant population of low-income students. I’ve had the opportunity to visit the District’s summer meals program, which provides students with healthy meals so they are prepared to learn. And McMinnville’s career and technical education programs – including the Engineering & Aerospace Science Academy – are engaging students and preparing them for success in and after high school, regardless of what path they take. The District works hard to make sure its teachers are highly skilled and have the tools they need to focus on every student.

“I went to public schools, my children attended public schools, and when I visit public schools in Oregon I’m inspired by the dedicated educators and the students who are the future of our country. Strengthening public education was the primary reason I got involved in public service, and remains one of my top priorities. As a relative newcomer to the world of public education, Secretary DeVos would do well to educate herself about the strengths and challenges of our diverse public education system. Unfortunately, in her short tenure as head of the Education Department she has been focused on undermining our public schools, not strengthening them. She continues to advocate for privatizing public education, cutting education funding, and rolling back civil rights protections for students.

“And although I’m glad that Secretary DeVos is going to visit a thriving public school in the district I’m honored to represent, I also wish she would visit Congress. It’s been eight months since she was sworn in as Secretary of Education, but she has yet to appear before the House Education Committee. As a leader on the Committee, I’m eager to hear directly from the Secretary about her plans to strengthen public education and provide equal access and opportunity for all students regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or zip code.”

Bonamici, the Vice Ranking Member of the House Education Committee, is a leader on education policy issues in Congress. In 2015, her legislation to reduce high-stakes testing in schools played a key role in building support for the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act to update federal K-12 education policies. Bonamici has tackled childhood hunger by introducing bipartisan legislation to expand access to nutritious meals for young children in school and day care. This summer, the House passed Career and Technical Education (CTE) legislation supported by Bonamici to increase funding for CTE, support innovative CTE programs, promote access to CTE programs among historically underserved students, and foster collaboration between schools and key stakeholders—including parents, higher education institutions, and business leaders.