The Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos as the next secretary of education and the decision is being met with controversy among educators and parents.
The Senate was evenly divided 50 to 50, which forced Vice President Mike Pence to cast a tie-breaking vote in her favor. This is the first time a vice president has had to resolve a tied vote on a Cabinet nomination. Before the confirmation, protests erupted in cities across the country against DeVos.
On Tuesday, a group of public educators met in front of the Alamo to protest. They said that she is unqualified and cited her lack of personal or professional public education experience.
"She doesn't come from a public education. So, how can she have the perspective of what it provides," said Patrick Payne, a local teacher.
"As an educator, when someone runs for office, you hope for someone who is articulate and is able to answer basic education questions. On a daily basis, we experience the debate regarding growth and proficiency," said Terry Zablocki, a librarian.
DeVos also supports school choice, a method that allows parents to decide if their child gets an education at a public, private, or charter school. But opponents argue that the system undermines funding for public education and, ultimately, underprivileged students who depend on the public education system.
"What I think is happening right now is something that's going to hurt the communities of color and, specifically, communities that are undocumented and immigrant," local teacher Excy Guardado said.
"I am a campus intervention specialist, so my job is to support children who need an advocate and I'm very very worried that those kids I support and wake up for each and every morning are going to lose hope," Pamela Zablocki said.
(© 2017 KENS)