NYC Education Dept suggests DeVos should have visited public schools during trip

NYC Education Dept suggests DeVos should have visited public schools during trip
© Greg Nash

New York City's Education Department on Wednesday suggested that Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosSessions: DOJ concerned about suppression of free speech on college campuses Arming teachers: Bad for students, bad for spending DeVos decries lack of free speech on campuses, says US has 'abandoned truth' MORE should have visited the city's public schools during her recent trip to New York. 

“An investment in public education is an investment in the future of our city and country,” the city's education department spokeswoman Toya Holness said in a statement, according to The New York Times

“Secretary DeVos is welcome to visit N.Y.C. public schools and see the phenomenal work we’re doing in the nation’s largest school district," she continued. 

DeVos has not yet visited a district-run school in the city. 

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She visited two Orthodox Jewish schools, Yeshiva Darchei Torah and Manhattan High School for Girls, during her trip on Tuesday and Wednesday, and offered supportive comments on government funding for religious schools. 

“I know very well there are powerful interests that want to deprive families their God-given freedom,” she said, according to the Times. “I know that those sycophants of ‘the system’ have kept legislators here from enacting a common-sense program that would open options to thousands of kids in need.”

DeVos has been an advocate of school choice initiatives and sometimes appears to struggle under questioning about why public schools have performed poorly despite her education policies, including in her home state of Michigan.

“In places where there is a lot of choice that’s been introduced, Florida for example, the studies show that where there’s a large number of students that opt to go to a different school or different schools, the traditional public schools actually, the results get better as well,” she said in March.