Education Secretary Betsy DeVos suggested Monday that teachers hold demonstrations over issues such as compensation during "adult time" so they don't cause harm to students by disrupting educational hours.
"I think it's important that adults have adult disagreements on adult time, and that they not ultimately hurt kids in the process," DeVos said when asked if she supported teacher strikes at the Education Writers Association national seminar in Baltimore, according to The Associated Press.
"I think too often they're doing so by walking out of classrooms and having arguments in the way that they are," she added.
DeVos said that "great teachers need to be well paid," according to the report. Her comments come as teachers around the country walk out of classrooms over salary, benefits and working conditions.
The AP noted that thousands of teachers in Oregon are expected to walk out of classrooms this week to protest class sizes and a lack of education funding.
While speaking about teacher pay, DeVos also took aim at the president of a major teachers union.
"Great teachers perhaps should be making at least half as much as what Randi Weingarten does at a half million dollars a year," DeVos said, referring to the head of the American Federation of Teachers, a union that has been highly critical of DeVos.
Weingarten responded by saying she'd be "delighted" if DeVos would push for teacher salaries to be $200,000.
"We could do this if Betsy worked with us to revoke tax cuts for rich people. She won't even have to give up the summer homes and the yachts," Weingarten said.