Bellevue, WA – More than one thousand people are expected to gather at 5pm in Bellevue this Friday, October 13 to protest Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and call on our leaders to keep public education public. The event will take place at the corner of Bellevue Way and NE 8th Street outside the Bellevue Hyatt, where DeVos is speaking at the far-right Washington Policy Center’s annual dinner.
The Equity in Education Coalition started this rally as a Facebook event and it has grown quickly as word of DeVos’s appearance has spread. People from across the region are coming together to show their support for keeping public education public. Speakers will also highlight the need to clean up Washington’s upside-down tax code so that we have the revenue necessary to invest in world-class schools and great teachers for each and every student.
DeVos has long been a leading proponent of school privatization. She has used her family’s deep pockets to push aggressively for vouchers and charter schools in Michigan, which has led to disastrous results for students in her come state. During her Senate confirmation hearing, she showed little knowledge about laws meant to protect students with disabilities but was open to allowing guns on campus to protect against grizzly bears. Recently, she announced that she would roll back the Obama administration’s rules for handling sexual assaults on university campuses.
Speaking at the counter-rally will be Mayor John Stokes, the Mayor of Bellevue; Manka Dhingra, 45th LD Candidate; Graciela Nunez, DACA Recipient; Paul Quiñonez, DACA Recipient; Justin Fox Bailey, teacher; Shannon McCann, teacher; Mia Gregerson, Representative of 33rd LD; Carl Livingston, professor; and Teresa Mosqueda, on behalf of the WSLC and Candidate for Seattle City Council.
In addition to the Equity in Education Coalition, sponsoring organizations of the event now include: AFT Washington, AFL-CIO, Backbone Campaign, Class Size Counts WA, Coalition of Immigrants Refugees and Communities of Color, Faith Action Network, Fuse Washington, LELO-Seattle, OneAmerica, Rainier Educators of Color Network, Seattle King County NAACP, SEIU 775, Tax March Seattle, Vietnamese Friendship Association, Washington Education Association, Washington’s Paramount Duty, Washington State Democratic Party, and the Washington State Labor Council.