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Teachers Union president in La Crosse says no to DeVos as Sec. of Education

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DeVos didn’t impress many during hearing Tuesday.

There’s been heavy criticism of Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos.

During a nomination hearing, she seemed to be unsure of basic federal laws including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. 

Many are saying she’s woefully under qualified, including the president of the La Crosse teachers union, John Havlicek.

“I don’t know how she gets in other than – and this is cynical so I hate being like this – she’s purchased the correct politicians and gotten them in the right positions to get this kind of a nomination,” Havlicek said.

Before DeVos’ hearing Tuesday, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker sent a letter in support of her nomination. Walker also received $342,000 from DeVos and her family since 2010.

Havlicek was one of several educators, last fall, to stage a protest shortly before school on private charter schools getting public education dollars. 

“She didn’t go to public schools,” Havlicek said. “She didn’t send her kids to public schools. She’s never worked at a public school. If this is what we’re looking for, she’s just as qualified to be the Secretary of Defense.”

Havlicek says her position on giving more money for private charter schools frightens him, as well. 

“I have kids in my classes that, there’s no way the private schools would let those kids in,” Havlicek said. “And, if they let them in, they’re going to get rid of them as fast as they can.”

Here are some “highlights” of DeVos’ committee hearing Tuesday.

Born in Decorah Iowa. I've been a news reporter for the last 10 years, starting right out of college in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other professional opportunities led me to Marshalltown, Iowa and Antigo Wisconsin, before I finally was afforded the opportunity here in La Crosse. I've been here since 2016. I also act as the voice of local sports, doing play by play of high school and college football and basketball. When not working I enjoy golfing.

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