It is a tough time to be a teacher. It was never an easy job, but it was made more difficult during the pandemic. Add in increased safety fears and parents upset with the curriculum and it certainly hasn’t gotten easier. La Crosse teachers say they are undervalued after the district offered a raise of just 2%. I know a teacher who after 10 years on the job recently left to take a job at a local hospital, where her starting pay is higher than what she was making with 10 years of teaching experience. But an even bigger hit to teacher morale was the comments made by former U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. DeVos told a conservative Christian group that she doesn’t think the agency that she used to lead should even exist. DeVos was never a fan of the public school system, so appointing her to run the agency was a head-scratcher. DeVos didn’t send her children to public schools. It’s possible she never even stepped foot in one. The fact is the Department of Education plays many critical roles. It’s stated mission is to “Promote student achievement and preparation for global preparedness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.” That includes studying educational trends and techniques to determine what works. That all sounds pretty important, unless you are the former Education Secretary who doesn’t believe in the value of a public education.