DeVos slams Randi Weingarten for deflecting blame on school closures: ‘We teach kids to own’ their mistakes – Fox News

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Former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos fired back at American Federation of Teachers union president Randi Weingarten on Wednesday after she tried to blame the former secretary for the pandemic-era school lockdowns that had dramatically harmful implications on public-school children in the U.S.

After the Wall Street Journal editorial published a column last week titled, “Randi Weingarten Flunks the Pandemic,” the American Federation of Teachers president published a scathing response of her own in which she slammed her critics, including those in The Wall Street Journal, Republican lawmakers, former President Trump and his former Secretary of Education DeVos by name, passing the blame of mismanaging schools to them. 

In an appearance on “The Story” Wednesday, DeVos laid out the “inexcusable” failures of the teachers union throughout the pandemic and called on Weingarten to take responsibility for the extended public school closures with her at the helm.

RANDI WEINGARTEN BLASTS ‘RIGHT WING EXTREMISTS’ FOR ‘FIGHTING CULTURE WARS’ IN CONFERENCE SPEECH

American Federation of Teachers chief Randi Weingarten famously pushed shutdowns throughout the pandemic. 

American Federation of Teachers chief Randi Weingarten famously pushed shutdowns throughout the pandemic.  (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“It is inexcusable. We teach kids to own up to and take responsibility for their failures or their mistakes,” DeVos told Fox News host Martha MacCallum. 

“Randi Weingarten should own up to the mistakes that they’ve made and the way that they have harmed kids, harmed families across the country, and yet all she is doing is blaming everyone else. This is not about teachers, this is about Randi Weingarten and all of her allies who continue to control everything with the Democratic Party.”

Weingarten has been accused of keeping the nation’s public schools closed for “as long as she possibly could,” which resulted in the “unprecedented decline in reading and math scores” among young students, as reported by The National Assessment of Educational Progress.

DeVos said it’s no wonder that Americans are becoming less satisfied with the state of K-12 education, pointing to new reports that children in cities like Baltimore, Phlidaphelia and Cleveland were sent home this week amid scorching temperatures because their buildings had no air conditioning.

SEPTEMBER HEAT WAVE FORCES SCHOOLS TO SEND STUDENTS HOPE EARLY BECAUSE OF NO AIR CONDITIONING 

Left, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten. Right, former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Left, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten. Right, former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. (Fox News)

“It is heartbreaking,” DeVos said. “Schools have had billions and billions of dollars since March of 2020 when within 30 days we got all of the money the $30 billion initially appropriated to make schools safe to learn in and one of the things they could do was actually improve ventilation and climate control.”

“And yet, here we are two and a half years later. And Baltimore got three-quarters of a billion dollars from the COVID relief funds. They have not spent anything to fix schools and make sure kids can be there.”

Devos said that of the $190 billion earmarked for k-12 schools across the U.S. in federal COVID relief, less than 10% of the funding was used. Federal statistics reported a similar figure, finding that just 12% of the over $100 billion has been spent so far by schools.

A student reflects her lunch bag on a wall in a hallway as coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions are lifted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., March 8, 2021. 

A student reflects her lunch bag on a wall in a hallway as coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions are lifted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., March 8, 2021.  (Reuters/Hannah Beier)

“Even today, more than 90% of funds haven’t been spent, and schools, the system keep trying to delay, extend and drag out the period of time so they can continue to drive their political agenda,” DeVos said, calling it “another example of a system that is utterly broken and unfixable.

“It is a prime example of misplaced priorities, agendas that are not around what’s best for kids and the families that they’re supposed to be serving,” she continued, adding that “it is not going to get better until there is a whole lot more competition from other providers who are going to offer kids what they need.

DeVos said parents are at their “wit’s end” and seeking alternative school options for their children as union-run public schools “continue to drag feet and hold these kids hostage to their demands and their political agendas.”

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“This is a system gone awry headed by individuals who are bent upon their own agenda and adult issues, not on kids, not on learning,” DeVos said. “The question around getting schools air-conditioned is another example of how dismally they have failed the American people and the kids that they are supposed to be serving today.”

Fox News’ Gabriel Hays contributed to this report.

Source URL: https://www.foxnews.com/media/devos-randi-weingarten-deflecting-blame-school-closures-teach-kids-own-mistakes

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