Skip to Content

Tone deaf DeVos disrespects educators

Lily Eskelsen García: This is insulting to educators who dedicate their lives to students

WASHINGTON - July 18, 2019 -

Today U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited South Carolina to tour Nephron Pharmaceuticals in West Columbia. This was part of DeVos’ tour to promote a voucher program that siphons funding from public schools to give to unaccountable private schools where only 6 percent of South Carolina students go. Nephron was recently in the news for employing hundreds of educators who need second jobs to make ends meet. South Carolina ranks 40th in the nation in teacher pay and just two months ago more than 10,000 educators, parents and students marched on the capitol as part of the Red for Ed movement.

Following is a statement by NEA President Lily Eskelsen García.

“It’s shocking and completely tone deaf that Betsy DeVos would visit the same company that was prominently displayed in national news just days ago for employing hundreds of South Carolina educators who are forced to take a second job to make ends meet and be able to support their families. And to do so while at the same time promoting a vouchers program that takes already scarce funding away from neighborhood public schools to give to private schools is beyond audacious.

“This is insulting to the inspiring educators who dedicate their lives to the children of South Carolina, and further illustrates how out of touch and unqualified DeVos is.

 “If we really are serious about improving public education, we need to ensure public school students have modern textbooks, art and music courses, nurses and counselors, and high quality educators in every classroom. Betsy DeVos has proven yet again that none of these are a priority for her or the Trump administration.”


Follow us on twitter at
# # #
The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers. Learn more at

CONTACT: Celeste Busser, (202) 822-7823,