Public school advocate says DeVos's school choice plan is 'tone deaf'

Public education advocate Keron Blair said in an interview that aired Tuesday on Hill.TV's "Rising" that Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump targets Iran with new sanctions The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Biden, Sanders to share stage at first DNC debate The Hill's Morning Report — Uproar after Trump's defense of foreign dirt on candidates MORE's plan to expand school choice is "tone deaf." 

"What we've seen in the last couple of years from Oklahoma to [Los Angeles], we have seen educators, parents, and students literally take to the streets demanding a deeper investment in their public schools," Blair, the executive director of the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, told hosts Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton Monday. 

As apart of her plan to expand school choice, DeVos, along with Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward Cruz Hickenlooper, Bennet bring deep ties to 2020 debate stage 2020 Democrat Bennet releases comprehensive government reform plan GOP frets about Trump's poll numbers MORE (R-Texas) and Rep. Bradley ByrneBradley Roberts ByrneThe Hill's Morning Report — US strikes approved against Iran pulled back McConnell-backed Super PAC says nominating Roy Moore would be 'gift wrapping' seat to Dems Trump Jr.: Roy Moore 'doing a disservice to all conservatives' by running for Senate MORE (R-Ala.), last week announced the Education Reform Scholarships and Opportunity Act. 

The plan would involve awarding federal tax credits for donations to groups that provide scholarships for private schools and other education programs. 

"The first thing about DeVos's plan is it strikes us and it strikes me as tone deaf. It is not in any way responsive to the concerns that have been raised by millions of educators, parents and students in many of the cities that we've watched take action in the last year and a half," Blair told Hill.TV. 

"The second thing, again, is that when I talk to the very children that Devos is claiming to be acting on behalf of ... what I'm told by those students is that what we want are nurses in our public schools, what we want are libraries in our schools like in Chicago, we want [a] better curriculum, we want our educators to be paid well," he continued.  

"The folks I'm talking to are not demanding an expansion of choice, they are demanding and asking for a deeper and more meaningful investment in their public schools," he said. 

DeVos has long argued that school choice would present new opportunities to students, such as dual enrollment and elective courses. 

— Julia Manchester